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Michael Urie / Imelda Staunton / David Beckham / Kelly Clarkson / Josh Groban 


Bad boys ink 

Why do we love 
the tattoo look? 

Hair today... 

How do you cope 
with the fall out? 

Katie Price 

Would you pay to 
look like her? 

Years & Years 

Meet the gay 
new face of pop 

£ 7 ) ■< 


Charlie Cox 
Marvel’s here 





Follow us on 



n n ^ @ □ 



Assistant Editor RYAN BUTCHER 
Editoriai Assistant WILLIAM CONNOLLY 
Design & Art Direction MARK KING 
Editor-at-large JOHN MARRS 


Pug-at-large TOBY 
Cover image ARMANDO GALLO 

Thanks to KATHERINE BAWDEN (Warner Music), 

Democrats), GRACE FUNG (Coty), CAROLINE GRAY (Mike 
Freer MP), CHARLOTTE KELLOWAY (Liberal Democrats), 
Brand Grooming), MATTHEW LAZA (Labour Party), 
ROLFE (Target Live), STU OAKLEY (Disney), WILLIAM 
(Disney), MICHAEL SALTER (Prime Minister’s Office), 
Da Silva), JAMES STEWART (Labour Party) 

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© 2015 GAY TIMES All rights reserved ISSN: 0950-6101 

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06 GT Fitty 
12 Michelle Visage 
14 Josh Groban 
16 David Beckham 
20 Michael Urie 
22 Mikey Walsh 
24 Sweetie, Darling? 


26 David Cameron 
30 Ed Miliband 
32 Nick Clegg 


38 Chris Evans 
46 The GT Body Survey 
54 Body: Do you measure up? 
58 Body: Hair today... 

64 Body: Tattoos 
70 Charlie Cox 
74 Years and Years 


80 Double trouble 
84 Reece Noi 
92 Grooming 


98 Kelly Clarkson 
102 Imelda Staunton 
104 Movies 

107 Geek 

108 Tech 

real life 

111 Readers’ Lives 

112 Is the Price right? 
117 Michael Alig 

119 Benjamin Cohen 

120 The Guyliner 
123 Positive Luke 

125 PJ Brennan 

126 Fit with Chris Jones 

131 2 Lovely Gays 

132 Home style 

134 Edd Kimber 

135 Gastro Gays 

136 Modern Family 


138 Newquay 


I’ve never been, in 
particular, all about being 
‘fit’. By either definition. 
Firstly, I’m quite lazy. 
Secondly, I don’t believe 
that having a ripped, 
muscular body will make 
me ‘fit’ in the sense of it making me attractive. 

So I’ve just plodded along - sometimes literally 
- as I am. While I’ve never been particularly 
fat, I’ve certainly been significantly large at 
times, and I’m definitely more than a little bit 
wobbly now. I could spout some life-affirming 
‘meme-esque’ quote about loving yourself, 
and all that palaver, but if you don’t already, 
you’re most likely not going to listen. As I write 
this, I’ve started a ‘detox’. After I agreed to said 
detox, I was told it would include a ‘work out’ 
three times a week. We’ll see about that. But 
the point is, I’m willing to make a change - and 
not because I want to have a summer body or 
washboard abs. I just don’t want to go up another 
size in trousers. Why’s that? That’s a state of 
mind, surely. Because I’m not influenced by 
bodies on billboards, posters or magazines. 

And neither should you be... Everyone has their 
body issues, and that’s what we’re looking at 
this month, in an in-depth GT survey, as well as 
several features focusing on other body parts 
rather than just your torso. Of course, the other 
significant change you could - or should - be 
contributing to this month is more political than 
physical, with the General Election looming. 
Slightly condescending, I apologise, but please 
vote. You have no right to complain if things 
don’t go your way, otherwise. And then we’re 
hopefully one step nearer towards one of us at 
least being in better shape... ■ 

Darren Scott @darren_scott 



PAGE 21 





He spent most of 
his time on The 
Apprentice half- 
naked and has 
gone on to fill the 
internet with his 
topless self ies- 
so what better 
excuse than to 
strip the reality 
TV favourite and 
snap him at this 
best. Confidence 
levels at breaking 
point, Solomon 
Akhtar is this 
month’s GT Fftty... 

Do you think your time on 
The Apprentice reflected you 
accurately? Yeah, definitely - 
really accurately. The Apprentice 
is one of those shows where it’s 
real life; it’s not scripted. Getting to 
the final five and being portrayed 
like 1 was in real life was great. 

Do you think being open and 
vulnerable got you as far as you 
did? 1 went into it not knowing what 
to expect at all. And yeah, when 1 
got thrown into a room with Nick, 
Karen and Lord Sugar; I was in 
awe. It was a massive moment for 
me. 1 just kind of put a smile on my 
face and cracked a few jokes, you 
know? And I slipped up flirting 
with a few girls. 

And your onscreen bromance 
with James, too? [Laughs] 1 know, 

I have SO much love for that boy. 
You know what, since the show, 
James and 1 get on so well. 

Have people continued to 
interact with you since? I’m The 
Apprentice candidate with the 
most Twitter followers, other than 
Mark the winner, which I’m really 
proud of. Same on Instagram, too. 
Like, I’m not afraid to take topless 
pictures, or share random stuff 


from my life that’s happened. 

Are topless pictures something 
you’ve always posted? I prefer to 
be topless and free than restrained 
by clothes. 1 don’t just take loads of 
topless selfies - 1 take them about 
my life. So if I’m out and about, 
or at a gig or something and I’m 
taking a picture, or if I’m at home 
just laying on my sofa topless, then 
that’s just me relaxing. I quite like 
to cook topless as well. When you 
cook topless, it’s easier to clean up. 
Clothes are optional with you, 
then? Basically, yeah. [Laughs] 

Are you happy with the way that 
you look? Yeah, yeah, yeah! I’m 
really confident with the way I look. 
What one thing would you 
change, if any? One thing I’d 
change? I don’t know... I don’t think 
I’d change anything. It’s good to be 
happy with the body you’ve got. 
Where’s the best place someone 
could take you on a date? Oh my 
God! My favourite date, definitely 
the aquarium, 100%, ‘cos I love 
fish. This is a massive talking 
point if you’re on a date. I think 
fish are quite like me - they’re 
both active and random, and I can 
resonate with that. 

Where would be a big no-no? In a 
cinema you don’t get that, you can’t 
even see the person. But I did get 
off with a girl in the cinema once, 
on a first date when I was, like, 15. 
How do you feel about guys 
looking at all your pictures? 

I have so many gay friends - it 
doesn’t really matter if it’s girls 
or boys. I mean. I’m straight, but I 
don’t mind [laughs]. 

What are you doing now the 
show has ended? I’m doing a 
speaking tour around universities, 
talking about business. And I’ve 
also been doing evenings and 
club events. Plus, a topless shoot 
for GT! It’s a massive thing for 
me... I haven’t done any topless 
pictures before. Well, asides from 
the selfies. ■, ©sollyakhtar 





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Move over PoMark... 
Sorry Aidan TUmer, the 
Beeb have got more 
buff blokes up their 
sleeves - and these 
one’s are inked. In 
fact, tattoos play more 
than just a small part 
in new drama Tatau, 
which is on BBC Three 
on Sundays. Kyle- Joe 
Layton, pictured left, 
in a vest, unfortunate 
- got more than he 
bargained for with his 
new tribal marking... 
New Zealand’s Alex 
Tarrant, sans vest, 
plays Maui. ■ 


Until 19 July 

Kick start your 
spring at the 
2015 Udderbelly 
Festival at London’s 
Southbank Centre. 
From adult to kid’s 
humour, Mock the 
Week star Andrew 
Maxwell leads you 
through weeks of 
hysterics, circus 
and music acts. ■ 

22-24 April 

Oily Murs is coming 
to Manchester for 
three nights as 
part of his 2015 
UK tour. Singing 
from his new album 
Never Been Better 
and backed by 
an incredible live 
band, this is a show 
not to be missed, 
com ■ 

30 April - 3 May 

For a caffeine kick, 
check out London 
Coffee Festival. 
More than 250 
artisan coffee and 
food stalls will host 
tastings, demon- 
strations, interactive 
workshops and cof- 
fee based cocktails 
from world class 
baristas, londoncof- ■ 

30 April - 4 May 

For the first long 
weekend in May, 
the Spirit of Spey- 
side Whisky Festi- 
val invites visitors 
to join and enjoy 
Scotland’s national 
drink. The festival 
promises a wide 
ranging programme 
of whiskey inspired 
events. Hie. spiritof- ■ 

27 April - 2 May 

Broadway smash 
The Producers 
graces the Bristol 
Hippodrome as part 
of its new tour. Star- 
ring Jason Manford, 
this hilarious show 
sees the stars aim 
to produce the 
worst show ever. 

All together now, 
“Spring tiiiiime...” ■ 


[michelle visage] colu>^ 

K captivity and living in a 

bus full of drag queens as 
we trek across America. And I wanted to 
take this opportunity to speak to you all 
about something close to my heart. Yes, 
a heart does live among this silicone. 

Every night at shows I lose count of the 
people who come up to me and quote 
my catchphrase: ‘Stop relying on that 

Interestingly enough, body issues have 
had a huge impact on my life, just like 
many of us. I continue to fight a daily 

I’m FREE from CBB 

the important thing is that I AM doing 
it now! The people that listen to my 
podcast with Ru have been there from 
the very start of this road, and I thank 
them for travelling down it with me. 

But I have to say this: It makes me 
SO sad, but mostly angry, when I 
see people like my CBB buddy Katie 
Hopkins making fun of people for 
their size. I agree that it’s important to 
draw attention to health and lifestyle 
choices. I agree we all need to wage 
a war on obesity. But WHY would 
anyone feel that it’s OK to go online 
and berate another human being just 
because they don’t match up to their 
specific standards? WHY is it OK to 
name call? To me, it isn’t funny. To 
me, it doesn’t get the job done. All it 
does is call attention to the negative. It 
sure as HELL doesn’t make an obese 
person want to fight - it makes them 
want to crawl into a hole and eat. I’ve 
been there. It’s not effective and it’s 
NOT humane. 

We all make choices. I’d LOVE to 
live in a world where making the 
healthy choice was easy, but I know 
that is not everyone’s reality. We all 
struggle for our different reasons to 
do what we know we ‘should’ do. Just 
know this, no matter whether you 
feel like you are too big, too small, 
too short or too tall, you ARE loved. 
Your health is your wealth, my babies. 
We’re all in this together. YOU ARE 
THIS. You have my word. Everything 
you need to succeed, you possess. 

Tap into it, let it flow and watch 
the magic unfold right before your 
gorgeous eyes. I’m aware of how 
difficult it is, I’m aware of how many 
times we fall before we get back up 
again. But please, NEVER give up 
on yourself. NEVER forget to love 
yourself first, even if there’s a bit extra 
to love. It’s always worked for me. 

Until next time, hit me up on Twitter 
@michellevisage or at 

battle to choose the road to health, but 
it’s SO difficult. Trust me, I know. 

I have an auto-immune disease that I’m 
working hard to cure through a vegan 
gluten-free diet and healthy living, 
instead of being a victim and sitting 
idly by feeling like crap. I want to be 
proactive in my life’s journey - and I’d 
known for a long time that in order to 
try and manage my symptoms, I had to 
change my lifestyle. But guess what? 

I DIDN’T! I knew what I had to do, but 
making the change required me to focus. 
Of course I wish I’d done it sooner, but 

12 GT 

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T he publicly-crowned 

Voice of an Angel is more 
of a devilish yelp when 
GT tells Josh Groban 
that doing an album of show tunes 
makes him an honorary gay man. 
“Excellent!” he exclaims. “Perfect! Is 
there a trophy that comes with that? 

My mantel is pretty empty so 1 could 
use a trophy or two.” 

That’s hard to believe actually, 
since the 34-year-old Californian has 
shifted 25 millions record around the 
globe, so he must have multi-platinum 
plaques aplenty, although the guy 
with the beautiful baritone has yet to 
grab a Grammy. 

We doubt he’s upset about that. 
Topping the US album charts 
thrice and making the top ten a 
further three times must be fair 
compensation, as is getting to duet 
- live and in person on a Hollywood 
scoring stage - with Barbra 
Streisand, which Josh did when he 
duetted with Babs on the anthemic 
Somewhere on her Partners album. 

“There’s nothing like looking to your 
right and seeing Barbra Streisand 
and a 100-person orchestra just as 
it’s your turn to hit the high note,” he 
practically coos. “It’s daunting and 
you have to psyche yourself up, but 
it’s great when you get to stand next to 
a legend like that.” 

So what is Babs really like? “She’s an 
extraordinarily strong-minded artist,” 
is how Josh diplomatically sings her 
praises. “She wants what she does to 
be perfect, she wants it to be great, 
and her process is amazing to watch 
because she’s old school in her 
approach to telling the stories in the 
songs. She’s meticulous about every 
word and every line.” 

He doesn’t see Streisand as a diva, 
just a perfectionist. And Josh, who 
performed in shows at school and 
released his debut album when he 
was just 20 years old, bursts out 
laughing when asked if he has any 
diva demands of his own. “Just tea 
and water. 1 try to spend as little time 
in the dressing room as possible. 1 
don’t need a yoga teacher in there.” 

He can be cranky when he’s jet 
lagged. “There’s nothing worse 
than having just three hours sleep, 
low blood sugar and having to go 
out and sing a high note.” But what 
really gets Josh’s goat is technical 
incompetence. “I’m only a diva when 
it comes to making sure everything is 
plugged in correctly. If the production 
or the sound or the mic or whatever 
means it’ll be less of an enjoyable 
experience for the listener I’ll stand 
my ground. It’s very easy to cut 
corners, with a budget for this or a 
budget for that, and it’s easy to forget 
the important, simple things.” 

Everything went swimmingly during 
the recording of the new album, a 
collection of musical theatre songs 
called Stages that covers classics - 
Over The Rainbow, Empty Chairs 
at Empty Tables - and curiosities - 
Pure Imagination from Charlie and 
the Chocolate Factory. “Sometimes 
you feel it’s the right time in your 
life personally and creatively to 
take things back to where your first 
inspiration was,” says Josh, who got 
hooked on musical theatre as a kid. “1 
grew up in Los Angeles and 1 was so 
lucky that there were great theatres 
there. My parents would take me to 
see all the Andrew Lloyd Webber 
shows. We’d go to see Stephen 
Sondheim. We’d see Broadway 
concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. 1 
walked out thinking this was an art 
form 1 wanted to explore.” 

The Phantom of the Opera was the 
first show he saw. “And 1 became 
obsessed with the Phantom,” he 
laughs. “1 made a papier-mache 
mask and wore it everywhere. 

1 wanted to be him so bad.” He 
attended performing arts school and 
originally planned on being an actor 
- something he’s dabbled in since, 
popping up in The Office, Glee and 
Crazy Stupid Love - but that voice was 
always going to win out. 

An album of show tunes brings 
him full circle, but it’s been a while 
coming. “1 wanted to make my own 
path,” Josh explains. “1 didn’t want to 
make Broadway albums right away 

because 1 had the chance to make 
new music, and 1 wanted to take that 
chance. But I’ve been able to work 
with so many extraordinary Broadway 
performers and immerse myself 
in that world more and more, so 1 
thought, ‘This is a world I’ve loved for 
so long and these are songs that feel 
really innate to my voice - so let’s do 
it.’ 1 feel like it’s the right time.” 

His dream duet would be with Bjork, 
“just for the sheer unexpectedness of 
it,” but for now he’s happy with Kelly 
Clarkson, who joins him on All 1 Ask 
of You from Phantom, and Broadway 
legend Audra McDonald, who lends 
her pipes to If I Loved You from 

Missing this time round is Idina 
Menzel, whom Josh worked with on 
a concert version of Chess. He’s a 
fan. “She’s such a good friend and so 
funny. I’m so lucky that I get to know 
all these great singers who turn out to 
be so funny and down-to-earth. They 
can make people cry on stage and 
make them laugh off stage. That’s my 
kind of person.” 

As is Kat Dennings, the voluptuous 
supporting star of the Thor movies 
who puts her comic skills - and 
incredible cleavage - front and centre 
in TV’s Two Broke Girls. Kat and Josh 
have been an item since last October 
and he gets her saucy sass. “I’m the 
biggest fan of potty humour on the 
planet,” he admits. “When I’m not 
singing serious stuff on stage I want 
the dirty joke. The most attractive 
thing about someone for me is humour 
and when we first started hanging out 
she had me in tears. She still does.” 

Kat can be truly filthy on the show, 
which makes us wonder just how 
angelic the Voice of an Angel himself 
is on a scale of one to ten? Josh laughs. 
“I teeter around four or five when I’m 
not performing. When I sing, I want 
to do it as purely as possible, and if 
people in the audience get a little 
weepy that’s a great thing. Then when 
I’m not on stage. I’m buying the first 
round of drinks!” ■ 

Stages is out 20 April,, 



On the tenth 
anniversary of 

“What we’ve 
created is 
something that’s 
special. It’s evolved 
in many ways over 
the years. I’m 
almost 40 and I still 
wear it - and my 
kids wear it, too. My 
youngest boy is ten 
and he loves it. ” 

On his own 
personai styie 

“People say I’ve 
been part of certain 
changes throughout 
the last ten years. 

It makes me proud 
that they’d think 
that, ‘cos none 
of the stuff I do 
is planned. I’ll 
look back at my 
hairstyles and 
think, ‘What was I 
thinking?’ But at the 
time, it was great.” 

On where he 
goes for styie 

“Well, Victoria is 
always a good 
person to ask 
because obviously 
it’s her industry 
now - and she’s 
always been great 
at decision making. 

I also get inspiration 
from my kids. One 
of the times in the 
last few months that 
Brooklyn actually 
felt like I was cool 
was when I got him 
Kanye shoes for 
his birthday. So for 
about five hours I 
was cool, but then 
he realised that I’d 
got myself a pair as 
well and it kind of 
killed it!” 

On his beard 

“I’m sticking with 
the beard. I’m a 
Taurus, so people 
keep turning round 
to me and saying, 
‘Please shave it off, 
please shave it. You 

look terrible.’ And it 
makes me want to 
keep it even more. 
Right now, I like it. “ 

On his tattoos 

“I’m really happy 
with all my tattoos, 
to be honest. The 
one that caused the 
most controversy 
was the one on my 
neck because when 
I had that done, 
tattoos were out 
there, but people 
always saw me 
like a little bit of a 
mummy’s boy. But 
every one of them 
means something 
to me. When people 
turn around and 
say, ‘Any advice on 
having a tattoo?’ I 
go, a, don’t go and 
have one when 
you’re drunk and 
b, just make sure 
it’s meaningful 
to you. I’m sure 
I’ll get another 
one at some 
point. Sometimes 
something will 
happen in my life, 
with the kids or 
Victoria, and I’ll 
decide to get one.” 

On Brookiyn 
steaiing his 

“My eldest, I mean, 
he's 16, but every 
time I go in to my 
wardrobe there's 
clothes on the floor. 
And I'm a really tidy 
person, so I know 
he's been in there. 
He doesn't think I'm 
too cool at times, 
but when he comes 
out in my jeans 
or my trainers, I 
know I'm still a cool 
dad. Brooklyn is 
constantly coming 
out with his own 
looks, though. My 
youngest Cruise 
is the same, and 
Romeo looks 
good in almost 
everything. They 
give me inspiration 
all the time." ■ 

16 GT 

Some people need 
renovation or retouching, some 
are pretty perfect apparently, 
some are in need of a polish 
and some are just as found. 

We believe wonderful and 
extraordinary things are much 
the same... 

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T: +44 (0)20 7376 6800 E: 

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18 GT 


There but for the Grace of disco Before we 
went Nightclubbing with Grace Jones, we 
enjoyed the final days of disco with her first 
three seminal albums - Portfolio, Fame and 
Muse. Now, they’re all together for the first 
time, across three discs, remastered with 
bonus tracks and extended mixes. There’s 
a gorgeous four LP vinyl set, too. Time to 
jump into that time machine and back to 

Studio 54 with Mama Jones. ■ DISCO box is out 4 May. 


Currently finding his inner Baitira Streisand nightiy in his one-man 
show Buyer and Celiar, we taik the relewance of gay stereotypes 
today with Ugly Betty’s very own Michael Urie... 

Your role as Marc St James in Ugly 
Betty was to be replaced weekly, right? 

Yeah, exactly. The plan was she’d go 
through assistants like Kleenex [laughs]. 
When did it all change? The team 
on Betty liked the dynamic between 
Vanessa and myself, and we just got 
on smashingly. 1 think they really liked 
what they saw with us from both on set 
and off. There was this one occasion, 1 
was doing her behind her back and she 
caught on, and it turned into a moment. 
We just got on and it was hilarious. And 
then suddenly, 1 was being asked to 
appear in the cast photo. 

Was the stereotype of a gay male 
different then to how it is now? It’s 
interesting this, as I’d say it’s the same, 
but it HAS changed. 1 mean, it was back 
in the My Space days, so when the show 
first aired we were getting reactions to 
my character about him being mean and 
catty and the typical gay guy that worked 

in fashion - and he totally fit into the 
stereotype. But yet, he was different. 

How do you mean? He worked in 
fashion but had a heart. He was quite 
funny yet wanted to help Betty and 
work with her. The writers told us 
from the beginning that they wanted 
to be truthful with him. They knew 
they’d be watched by virgin teens, 
but also by kids too. They’d all see 
two young guys, similar to their ages, 
who’d hopefully help them accept their 
sexuality and come out. 

Do you think Ugly Betty would have the 
same impact today as it did back then? 
Yeah, but there isn’t that much on TV that 
was so new, like Betty was back then. It 
was a true dramedy at the time. 

Is a gay role better played by a gay 
male than a straight male then? I’m 
not saying it’s wrong for a straight guy 
to be playing any of these gay roles, 
but maybe it’s better to see a gay guy 

do it, as well as straight roles too, 
and have that celebrated. It’s tough, 
but as long as he’s with the role and 
successful, then either can work. 

And now you’re in the West End in 
Buyer and Cellar? The show is so fun. 
I’m Jonathan, who’s an actor from LA 
and totally made up. He’s a character 
that gets hired to work in a basement 
mall in Barbra Streisand’s house. 
Sounds odd, but she did actually make 
this place in her home where she kept 
clothes and even sweet shops, and it 
looked a little like Disneyland. 

So lots of characters? So many - and 
I play them all! I don’t wear a wig or 
have long fingernails, but I become her 
[Barbra Streisand] and the other roles. 
It’s totally awesome and hilarious. ■ 

Read the full interview in full on gaytimes. Michael appears in Buyer and Cellar at 
London’s Menier Chocolate Factory until 2 May,, ©michaelurie 

20 GT 


i ivuurua Collina 
r Jr^Bloor 
Midnighi Beast 
( TommyMalJwt 

I and mote! 






S*?**3ry J 

Qumto’s J 









An LGBT person in 

the media thanked his 
dad for helping him 
remain butch, castable and making 
sure he didn’t turn into one of those 
‘effeminate’ gays. 

You know what? 1 promised 
myself 1 wouldn’t get sucked 
into Toveygate, because the last 
thing anyone needs is yet another 
bastard giving out yet another 
point of view on the matter. Bottom 
line, I’m sure he’s a lovely guy. And 
hey, what 1 say, or anyone else in 
the community says for that matter, 
isn’t going to affect him, his life, 
or his career. Beyond knowing 
he prefers penis. I’ve never seen 
the guy as an advocate for the gay 
community, and he’s clearly never 
wanted to be, either. But judging 
by that interview, it’s probably for 
the best. 

He may have said some utterly 
stupid things, but sadly, it’s still 
very much a straight man’s world 
out there, especially out in the USA 
- and I’m guessing he’s trying to 
stay in it. And work. 

Do 1 even dare to utter the 
name Luke Evans here, and what 
happened to his entire gay history 

once he broke America? 

Meanwhile, I’ve heard just as 
many people praise Tovey for 
those remarks, as I’ve seen ones 
pointing the witchy finger. . . 1 won’t 
count the tens of thousands of 
absolute fools that constantly tweet 
support for him, and many others 
who’ve served their time in the 
‘Twitter boo box’ in the vain hope 
that their countless tweets and 
Facebook messages might just one 
day be replied to, favourited, or 

Those are the cunts that really get 
on my nerves. 

Those, and the countless ignorant 
arseholes who give ‘shock tactic’ 
celebrities a voice, for exactly the 
same reason. 

‘OMG Katie Hopkins, thanks for 
responding, 1 LOVE YOU, you say 
what we all are too scared to say!!’ 

1 seem to be rolling my eyes 
more than the fucking Undertaker 
these days. But you know what? 
Fuck it. And fuck them. There 
are far worse people out there 
who actually DO hate gay people; 
whether they’re straight acting, 
fern, masc, top or bottom. They 
hate us all - and no stupid guise. 

There are 

far worse 

people out 

there who 


DO hale 








masc, top 
or bottom 
They hate 


or label, or pretence will ever 
make us acceptable to them. 

These people think gays should 
all be put on an island somewhere 
and ‘blah blah blah.’ Yeah, we’ve 
all heard a few variations of that 
line in our lives, haven’t we? 

We’ve come so far, but there’s 
still so much hatred about and we 
need to look out for each other 
more. 1 forget how well guarded 
1 am, living in a city where 
homophobia isn’t so threatening. 

Then on days like I’ve had today, 

1 remember how horrible it can 
be, and how ugly and useless 
being a victim to homophobia can 
make you feel. 

Today 1 had to pull two teenage 
boys away from an older trans 
lady as they grabbed for her 
hair. They’d been laughing at 
her and making rude comments 
from Oxford Street to Hackney, 
in peak time, on a crowded bus, 
and not a single person had 
stepped up to aid her. As our 
argument got more heated and 1 
thought I’d have to start fighting 
two children, we were all asked 
to leave the bus. They refused to 
leave, but the lady and 1 did. 

As the bus left the stop, the two 
boys shouted ‘sick fucks’ and ‘arse 
rammers’ from the windows. 

She turned to me and asked if 1 
was alright, then punched me in 
the arm and laughed: ‘Hey, we 
lived, don’t be so fucking upset.’ 

It made my day to hear her so 
chirpy about it. 

There’ll always be those of 
us who try to conform to what’s 
easier as much as possible. But 
regardless of what we pretend to 
be, we can’t change what’s in our 
bones. Times are changing. And 
one sure thing is that the old ways 
of thinking will die. And we’re 
here; we’re more than capable of 
being our own advocates; by living 
as we are, proudly and openly. 
We’re a bloody varied 
bunch, us gays, and 1 
love us. ■ 

22 GT 

ON TOUR IN 2015 








What’s the best bit of advice anyone 
has ever given you? If you can’t reach 
something, stand on a box. 

Who’s your biggest crush? 1 like a 
bit of Ryan Gosling. He’s hot in The 
Notebook - with the beard and the hair 
and everything. 

Who’s the most famous person that 
you’ve ever met? Ant and Dec. 

When you go on holiday, what is 
the one essential thing you have to 
pack? A book. 

A certain Fifty Shades of Grey book, 
by any chance? I’ve read one of those 
and then I couldn’t read any more. I 
mean, they’re sexy, you know? But I think 
one was enough [laughs] . 

What makes you nervous? Live theatre 
- it terrifies me! You have to stand up in 
front of people on stage. It’s thrilling and 
I adore it, but that first night is probably 
the worst. I’d rather be run over by a bus. 
Kylie, Madonna or Gaga? Madonna! 

I grew up with her. I mean, I did 
love Kylie as well, but I LOVED The 
Immaculate Collection. 

What’s your favourite swear word? 
[Laughs] I suppose... I mean... I try not to 
use the ‘C’ word too much... 

Do you use that a lot? Not a lot, but it’s 
effective, isn’t it? 

Are you in love? Yes. 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever 
put in your mouth? Turkey balls. 

You’re going to have to explain that 
one... Well, I ate a turkey penis ball and 
I put it in my mouth and swallowed it. It 
was revolting. There’s video footage of it 
on YouTube, apparently. 

What was your worst subject in 
school? Probably maths. 

Who or what is your guilty pleasure? 
Million Dollar Listing New York. 

What’s the most expensive thing 
that you’ve ever bought? A sofa that’s 
now sitting in a bloody garage. It’s an 
Italian leather sofa with a back that 
went up and down. To me it looks like 
a baseball glove. 

Would you rather not eat or speak for 
24 hours? Not speak for 24 hours. 

What’s the last thing that you read 
about yourself on the internet? 

That I arrived to the studio in a police 
car, which I did, when I was doing an 

interview for This Morning. 

If you could go back and give your 
15-year-old self one bit of advice, what 
would it be? Be braver. 

What’s the first thing that you do when 
you wake up? Look at my belly in the 
mirror and give it a little wobble. 

How many hours sleep do you need a 
night to be able to function properly? 1 
sleep a lot. I go to bed about 9pm. So, at 
least six or seven. 

Double denim. Amazing or awful? 

Instinctively I’d have to say awful, but 
actually some people can make it look 
quite good. 

What’s the hardest word for you to 
spell? Leicester [laughs]. I can just 
never remember where the ‘C’, ‘E’, T’ 
or ‘S’ goes. 

Which supermarket do you shop in? 
Waitrose, but that’s only because it’s 
the nearest one - and it’s much more 
fucking expensive, annoyingly. 

Which reality TV show would you like 
to got on? Strictly. 

Are you good at flirting? Very. 

What’s the longest you’ve been 
without showering? Three weeks. 

Oh! Actually, in the jungle, but we had 
a waterfall. Uh, yeah, not long. I like 
to shower. 

What do you look for in a guy? Humour. 
Sexiest accent? Oh, Irish! 1 love it! 

Is Brad Pitt still hot? I mean, if you 
like that sort of thing. Yeah. I guess he 
is. Yeah. 

Do you take selfies? Occasionally, 

Can you parallel park? Yes. 

Who was the last person to see you 
naked? My boyfriend. 

What song do you sing in the 
shower? My daughter and I tend to 
generally sing Les Miserables and 
Miss Saigon to each other. 

Strangest thing anyone has ever said 
to you? [Laughs] So, a woman once said 
to me, “Don’t take offence to this because 
she’s a fucking dog, but you look a little 
bit like that Janine off EastEnders.” 
[Laughs] Which was really pleasant. ■ 

Charlie is currently playing at venues across the 
country - including Leicester - as part of the UK 
tour of Beautiful Thing. Tickets are available at, ©beautthing 







Who’s your gay icon? There are many 
people I admire from different walks of life 
- politicians such as Lord Smith and Margot 
James, journalists like Matthew Parris, 
sports stars and campaigners like Martina 
Navratilova or Tom Daley. 

If 1 had to pick jut one, it’d be Clare 
Balding, who 1 think is outstanding for her 
passion and knowledge of the subjects she 
broadcasts on - and she’s also spoken out 
brilliantly on equality issues. 

If 1 was choosing someone from history 
it’d be Alan Turing, who clearly was an 
exceptional man with a brilliant mind. 

He deserves to be remembered and 
recognised for his fantastic contribution 
to the war effort and his legacy to science. 
His pardon from the Queen was a fitting 
tribute to an exceptional man. 

How should a gay voter feel if their 
local Conservative candidate didn’t 
vote in favour of same-sex marriage? 
The key point is that it’s now in place - 

and no one is proposing to repeal it. 

I’m tremendously proud that we now 
have same-sex marriage in this country, 
and I’m particularly proud that it was 
a Conservative-led government that 
introduced it. In fact, 1 understand I’m the 
only Conservative Prime Minister in the 
world who’s introduced equal marriage. 

While there are people who weren’t 
convinced by the arguments. I’m 
heartened by the number of people who 
- both during and after the debate - have 
said that they changed their minds and are 
now strong advocates for equal marriage. 
If elected, what would your party do to 
help improve sexual health education in 
schools for LGBT youths - particularly 
relating to HIV awareness? Relationship 
and sexual health education is a matter of 
great concern to parents and as society 
changes, as children have greater access 
to information on the internet, it’s an area 
to be kept under review. We’ve already 
added sexually transmitted disease to the 
Key Stage 4 science curriculum, meaning 
that students should learn about it as 

part of their GCSE science. We’ve also 
been clear that relationship education 
in schools should be inclusive of LGBT 
issues and the government has funded 
the PSHE association to produce guidance 
on consent, which has a specific focus on 
same-sex relationships. 

Do you agree with the National AIDS 
Trust and other charities that PrEP 
should be made available on the NHS 
to gay men who need it as soon as 
possible? 1 think it’s fantastic that over 
the course of the last 30 years, AIDS has 
gone from being a very serious and fatal 
disease to one that can be treated - and 
is now on the cusp of being one that can 
be prevented. Too many people have lost 
loved ones and seen friends and families 
suffer from AIDS, so it’s right that we look 
very carefully at PrEP. However decisions 
on individual drug availability are made 
by the independent National Institute for 
Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and 
not politicians - so it’d be inappropriate of 
me to prejudge their decision. 

When did gay rights become an 

26 GT 


Left Cameron with 
Barack Obama 
in Washington, 
January 2015. 
Above With Nick 
Clegg at the Gay 
Pride garden party, 
June 2010. 

integral part of your political agenda? 

Respect, dignity and fairness have 
always been at the heart of my politics, so 
advancing equality was a natural part of 
what 1 wanted to achieve. 

Which LGBT person would you say 
has influenced you the most? It would 
be unfair to single one out, but I’ve been 
inspired by all the candidates, many now 
MPs, in my own party who fought elections 
as openly gay candidates. 

What’s your party’s most important 
moment in the history of gay rights? 
Bringing equal marriage into law - a 
huge milestone in the history of gay 
rights in the UK. 

According to teacher’s union NASUWT, 
one in four LGBT teachers feel they 
have to hide their sexuality. How can we 
change that and create a more accepting 
environment? It’s not acceptable for any 
teacher to feel they have to hide their 
sexuality, so the National College for 
Teaching and Leadership is working with 
Stonewall to address some of the barriers 
faced by LGBT teachers and - in particular 

- their progression to leadership positions. 
We need schools to be places of respect 
for both teachers and pupils, and we’re 
making progress - half the number of 
secondary school teachers now say that 
pupils are ‘often’ or ‘very often’ the victim 
of homophobic bullying compared to 2009, 
but there’s more to do. So we’re investing 
£2 million in schools to help them tackle 
homophobic bullying and will keep this 
momentum up in the next Parliament. 

At a time when blood supplies are 
dwindling and the gay community 
feels like their blood is deemed to be 
less worthy, do you foresee the rules 
changing when it comes to gay and 
bisexual men donating blood? I’m 
pleased that we’ve made some progress 
on this issue, but I’m aware that it’s still 
a contentious one. Ultimately this is a 
decision for clinicians, not politicians. 

The Albert Kennedy Trust says there 
are up to 5,000 LGBT youths living on 
the streets - and that this group is at 
the highest risk of abuse, violence and 
sexual exploitation. What would your 

party do to combat this? There’s nothing 
more important than giving young people 
security and love when they’re growing up. 
I’m concerned about the specific issue of 
homelessness among young LGBT people 
and that’s why we’ve begun funding the 
Albert Kennedy Trust to tackle it. We 
must also understand why young people 
become homeless; one reason some end up 
on the streets is because they leave school 
early due to bullying, so we’re working to 
eradicate homophobic bullying in schools. 
Which politician do you think has 
been the most damaging to gay rights 
- past or present? This is a complex 
issue that can’t be answered with one 
name. There are leaders and politicians 
in other countries who have sought to 
stigmatise the LGBT community which 
is incredibly damaging. And right now 
we’re seeing truly horrific sights in Syria 
with ISIS throwing suspected gay men 
off the top of towers to their death; so 
right now their leadership is the most 
damaging and tackling the threat they 
present is crucial. ■ 



Thatcher is often heavily criticised 

for her record on gay rights. But in 
her old constituency of Finchley 
and Golders Green, there’s now a 
gay man in occupation. Mike Freer 
is a big advocate of gay rights - 
given they’re his own - and took 
full advantage of the new same-sex 
marriage laws, marrying his long- 
term partner at the start of the year. 

“I’ve never had a problem in the 
Conservative Party,” he tells GT. 
“I’ve never had a problem with 
my members, never when 1 was 
an activist, certainly not when 
1 was leader of Barnet Council. 
Homophobia exists in all walks of 
life, but I’ve never found that the 

Conservative Party is any more 
homophobic than any other walk 
of life. 1 broadly identified as a 
Conservative, because 1 believe 
governments should get out of the 
way of who 1 sleep with or what’s 
behind closed doors. 

“Now 1 accept that different 
parties have done things. Tony 
Blair was the one who pushed 
through the civil partnership 
legislation, and I’m not sure my 
party would have done that at 
the time. But there’s been a huge 
change in the Conservative 
Party, particularly under David 

During the last Parliament - since 
2010 - the Conservatives have had 
more out MPs than the other parties 
combined. At this election, they 
have the most candidates: A total of 
41. How gay is the Tory party? “Oh, 
please, it’s always been gay! They 
used to say if it wasn’t for the gay 
Tories, central office would never 
operate! But probably not more gay 
than Parliament.” 

Still, the majority of Conservative 
MPs voted against marriage 
equality, and it seems unlikely it 
would have passed without other 
parties’ support. “It’s interesting, 
that. Every party had people who 
opposed it. 1 mean, a lot of my 
colleagues in Parliament didn’t 
know that 1 was gay. 1 never went 
round saying, T’m the gay MP!’ 1 just 
wanted to be a good constituency 
MP, who happens to be gay. 

“Going for breakfast, you’d hear 
people talking about it, saying 
they didn’t understand why gays 
wouldn’t be happy with civil 
partnerships. Most of the debate 
was quite pleasant, there were 
maybe half a dozen who weren’t. 1 
had a major falling out with one of 
my colleagues over it. We didn’t 
speak, we couldn’t bear to be in the 
same room as one or another for six 
months. But we’ve made up now. 
And then 1 went to his wedding - a 
straight wedding.” 

How should a gay constituent 
of his friend, who was so against 
same-sex marriage, feel? “1 think 
you have to think about why. 

We shouldn’t fall into the trap of 
stereotyping those who voted 
against as being homophobic. 1 
have a colleague who just didn’t 
believe the state should be 
involved, full stop. 1 don’t agree, 
but it’s not homophobic of them.” 

David Cameron has been an 
ardent and admirable supporter of 
extending marriage rights. What, 
then, would be the priorities for 
a second term in charge? “Some 
of the challenges that 1 will be 
pushing for will be the spousal 
veto - there’s a lot of room to go 
with trans issues. We’ve got to 
embed in the teacher training 
programme issues of homophobic 
bullying. In my personal view, 
we’ve also got to really unpick our 
HIV prevention programme and 
make that work.” ■ 

Same-sex marriage 


voted for 


voted against 


did not vote 

Why vote 



[01] The Conservative 
Party is a modern 
party that reflects 
society now. It’s the 
party that delivered 
same-sex marriage. 

[02] We have more 
representation of gay 
people in Parliament 
than anyone else, 

which shows how the 
changes have been 
embedded in the party. 
[03] You either want a 
Prime Minister that’s 
competent and delivers 
a strong economy, or 
you don’t. So there’s 
more money for HIV 
prevention, more 
money for tackling 
homophobic bullying in 
schools. You need an 
economy to fund that. ■ 

28 GT 




“I remember as I was growing up, 

during the 80s, what the Thatcher 
government did with Section 28, 
and the demonising of gay men and 
women. They just seemed to be 
targeting minorities for what was 
going wrong in the country,” Steve 
tells GT. “It gave me a very strong 
mistrust of the Conservatives on 
issues of personal freedom. And 
that’s still there.” 

Steve Reed has been Labour’s 
MP for Croydon North since 2012, 
when he became the first out gay 
person elected in a by-election. He 
did so 30 years after Peter Tatchell 
contested the infamous Bermondsey 
by-election, considered the most 

homophobic in British history. Steve 
was already a Labour party member 
back then, joining as a teenage boy 
while he was still in the closet. 

It was just days before the vote on 
same-sex marriage that he took his 
seat in Parliament. 

“It really struck me, on a 
very personal level, that 1 had 
been outside here [Parliament] 
protesting against Section 28 
in the 80s, and had been inside 
here to vote for equal marriage. 
We’d completed the equalisation 
of gay people in law, and that felt 
personally very profound. It’s 
an extraordinary change to see 
happen in this country.” 

Steve’s sexuality was hardly 
mentioned during his election 
campaign or his time as a London 
council leader, he says, “other 
than a former Liberal Democrat 
councillor who wrote a blog 
‘exposing’ me as living with a man, 
which wasn’t even true - 1 lived 
with a cat.” 

Yet still it remains that numerous 
MPs who’re gay persistently keep 
the fact secret. Why? “People that 
are in Parliament and grew up 
decades ago grew up in a very 
different culture, and may still 
be having big internal struggles. 

I’d choose to judge those people 
on how they vote on issues of 

“But it’s still important to be 
out. We have to normalise being 
gay - it is normal, of course - but 

to make that apparent you need 
people out in all walks of life. 
People who’re in a position of 
public leadership have a big part 
to play in doing that.” 

Thankfully, the times of chronic 
prejudice have largely passed, 
as all the out MPs GT has spoken 
to agree. It’s taken cross-party 
support to bring about that change 
and all the big three support gay 
equality. Which is how it should 
be, of course. 

So what are the big challenges 
that the next Parliament should 
be tackling? “1 think there’s still 
considerable prejudice against 
trans people, especially around 
things like birth certificates and 
access to passports. 

“Secondly, Britain still holds 
great influence in the world. 1 met a 
young man from Uganda recently, 
and he told me of the things he’d 
experienced there at the hands 
of bigots, and it was absolutely 
terrifying. We’ve just got to do 
something about that. 

“Then there’s homophobic 
bullying in schools. Anyone who is 
wondering whether or not they’re 
gay at school and hears language 
that infers gay people are in some 
way inferior or weaker in any way, 
they’ll internalise that and it’ll 
damage them. 

“Finally we do need to go boldly 
into those areas in our country 
where these views aren’t shared, 
and challenge those, too.” ■ 

Same-sex marriage 


voted for 


voted against 


did not vote 


Why vote 
Labour, Steve? 

[01] Labour’s 
commitment to equality 
has been beyond 
question for decades 
now. Look at the fact we 
have full equality in law, 
that’s primarily to do 
with the Labour Party. 

[02] We need to make 
sure that the services 
that affect gay people’s 

lives are all there. I used 
to lead Lambeth Council 
and we were one of 
the first to support 
gay adoption, helping 
countless children. 

[03] It’s not just about 
being gay, it’s about 
being part of a society 
where we all care for 
each other. If we look 
out for those who aren’t 
as strong as we are, 
we’ll be better for it. ■ 



Who’s your gay icon? Well, Lord Michael 
Cashman is somebody who I’ve got 
huge admiration for. He’s been a pioneer 
in every sense. He was a pioneer on 
EastEnders, but he’s also been a pioneer in 
the European Parliament and in the House 
of Lords. That’s why I’ve appointed him as 
my global envoy on LGBT rights - because 
that’s a battle that hasn’t been won yet. 
We’ve got to work in the Commonwealth 
and Europe and beyond on these issues, 
because 1 don’t just want to stand up for 
equality here at home. 1 want to stand up 
for equality internationally, too. 

How should a gay voter feel if their local 
Labour candidate didn’t vote in favour 
of same-sex marriage? 1 think people 
have to make their own judgements about 
the candidates that they have. The really 
important thing to say though is that the 
vast majority of Labour MPs voted for equal 
marriage. I’m clear about equality and the 
importance of equality - and it’s Labour 

votes and Labour MPs that got same-sex 
marriage through Parliament. 

If elected, what would your party do to 
help improve sexual health education in 
schools for LGBT youths - particularly 
relating to HIV awareness? We’ve 
said that we’d have compulsory sex and 
relationship education - that’s the right 
way to go. There’s a really broad coalition 
now right across the board saying we need 
this in our schools. 1 think there’ll be some 
people trying to cast up myths about what 
it’d mean. But as the father of two young 
boys, 1 want them to know about friendships 
and relationships and those things. 
Obviously, it’s got to be age appropriate, 
but 1 don’t think we have anything to fear 
from it. In fact, we have everything to gain 
from it as a society. We’ve come a long way 
from Section 28. The wider point 1 would 
make is that we’ve made massive progress 
on formal equality, but we’ve still got 
further to go on REAL equality - whether 
that’s homophobic bullying in schools, 
or whether that’s homophobia in sports... 
There’s a whole range of issues, culturally. 

where 1 think we’ve still got further to go. 

Do you agree with the National AIDS 
Trust and other charities that PrEP 
should be made available on the NHS to 
gay men who need it as soon as possible? 
The recent medical evidence that’s come 
out about PrEP is obviously very positive 
- it’s a positive step forward. And it could 
make a real difference. There’s obviously 
proper clinical processes that we’ve got to 
go through, with the National Institute for 
Health and Care Excellence (NICE), to look 
at this. I’m obviously sympathetic, and the 
evidence is incredibly encouraging, but 
this has got to be led medically. 

When did gay rights become an integral 
part of your political agenda? It came 
from growing up in the 80s with Section 
28. It was the Thatcher government, wasn’t 
it? If you grew up around that time, it 
was a deep sense of discrimination and 
unfairness. I’ve always been someone 
that believes in equality, but that was a 
formative time as far as I’m concerned. 
What’s your party’s most important 
moment in the history of gay rights? 

30 GT 



Left Ed Miliband 
outside Number 
10. Above Ed during 
his bid for Labour 
leadership, June 

Equalising the age of consent was the most 
important moment, for me, because it was 
a moment which sort of blazed the trail for 
the principle of equality that we then saw 
later. It brought with it civil partnerships, 
and equal marriage and adoption - and a 
whole range of other issues. 

At a time when blood supplies are 
dwindling and the gay community 
feels like their blood is deemed to be 
less worthy, do you foresee the rules 
changing when it comes to gay and 
bisexual men donating blood? The 
guidelines have changed somewhat, but 1 
know that in the LGBT community there’s a 
wish for further change. 1 think we’ve got 
to be led by the clinicians and the medical 
people that keep it under constant review. 
Asides from having a Minister for 
Equalities, do you think the LGBT 
community needs a sole representative 
on the Cabinet? Can one person really 
represent every minority? 1 think they 
can, but 1 think I’d go even further. I’d say 
it’s actually a role for the Prime Minister 
to take an interest in these issues. That’s 

partly why 1 made the appointment 1 did 
with Michael as my global envoy, because 1 
wanted to show that when it comes to these 
international negotiations and international 
issues, for example, you need the full 
weight of the Prime Minister behind it. 

How do you feel when politicians in your 
party don’t have the same views on gay 
rights and equality as yourself? I’ve 
always tried to lead from the front on this, 
and my belief in equality is a fundamental 
principle that we should carry through into 
everything we do. Sometimes change is 
controversial, and then after the change 
happens, even the people who disagreed 
tend to hold their hands up and say, “Well, 
actually, that was right thing to do.” And 
that’s why the change happens. 

We’ve talked a lot about governments 
and political parties, but it’s not 
governments or political parties of any 
stripe that deserve the most credit. 

It’s actually the LGBT community as a 
movement. Change doesn’t happen 
because politicians make it happen. It 
happens because the community says. 

“Enough! We’re going to change things!” 
And nowhere has change been more 
pronounced than with LGBT rights, and 
nowhere is it more down to a community 
than with LGBT rights. It’s because of 
people like Michael Cashman, but also 
because of people whose names 1 don’t 
know said, “OK, enough! We’re not putting 
up with this anymore.” That’s what made 
the change, and that’s what’ll make change 
happen in the future as well. 

And finally, why should a gay voter 
vote for the Labour Party? Simply 
because of our belief in equality. 1 came 
into the Labour party because 1 care 
about equality and 1 care about a more 
equal society - economically, socially, in 
terms of power and, as 1 said, because 1 
don’t believe that the battle for equality 
has truly been won. 1 don’t think we 
should declare victory. 1 think we should 
declare that we’ve made huge progress 
- but we’ve got further to go to win the 
battle. As Prime Minister, 1 would be a 
warrior for equality and social justice, 
because that’s just what 1 believe. ■ 



Who’s your gay icon? I’d say Lynne 
Featherstone. I mean, without Lynne I don’t 
think we’d have the equal marriage bill. I 
remember she came to me and said, “Look, 
I really want to push this in the Home 
Office. It’s going to be like pushing water 
up a hill. Will you back me?” I said I’d back 
her all the way - and I continue to do so. 
When the history of that particular piece 
of legislation is written, statues will be 
erected for Lynne Featherstone on plinths 
up and down the country. Without her, it 
just wouldn’t have happened. 

If elected, what would your party do to 
help improve sexual health education in 
schools for LGBT youths - particularly 
relating to HIV awareness? The thing 
is, it’s not just, “Oh, how can we improve 
sex education for LGBT folk?” It’s across 
the whole population. We have sex 
and relationship education guidelines 
which are outdated - which haven’t been 
updated since something like 2001. The 

guidelines haven’t kept with the digital 
age. You know, we’ve got a lot of issues 
these days which are a huge concern 
for vulnerable youngsters, in terms of 
online pressure, bullying, harassment, 
vilification, victimisation... That’s not being 
reflected in the guidelines. And that’s why 
I pushed Michael Gove when he was in the 
Department for Education to update the 
guidelines. And for some odd, idealogical 
reasons he refused. 

The second problem we’ve got is, PSHE 
- which is the vehicle by which a lot of this 
can be discussed in the classroom - isn’t 
actually mandatory at all across the school 
system. So you’ve got this ludicrous situation 
where if you send your daughter to a 
maintained school, she’ll get PSHE taught as 
a matter of course, but if you sent your son 
to a neighbouring academy or free school, 
they won’t. Again, I tried to get Gove to see 
sense on this, but he had a bit of a screw 
loose when it came to this kind of thing. 

Information is empowerment, and 
empowerment is about protecting yourself 
and keeping yourself safe. All kids should 

have access to the same information 
- because it’s very valuable. It’s very 
valuable because it keeps kids safe. 

Do you agree with the National AIDS 
Trust and other charities that PrEP 
should be made available on the NHS 
to gay men who need it as soon as 
possible? The NHS is looking. We’ve had 
these studies and tests - like the PROUD 
Study - which appears to have confirmed 
the clinical effect of the drug in terms of 
preventing HIV. But the NHS now, quite 
rightly, is looking at what this actually 
means. Would it be clinically prescribed? 
And to who? And for what periods of time? 

Is it a one-off prescription or is it an ongoing 
thing? That’s all being looked into at the 
moment. PrEP sounds like a fantastic 
medical innovation which can keep people 
safe from HIV infection, but of course, 
what we wouldn’t want is for people to 
take it and risk contracting other illnesses 
and infections because they practice less 
protected sex. I don’t think we should, 
under any circumstances, regard any drug 
as a sort of wonder drug that suddenly 

32 GT 


Left Nick Clegg’s 
first joint press 
conference with 
Cameron, May 2010. 
Above Nick Clegg 
at the Lib Dem 
^Spring Conference, 



^ — - 





means all risk is removed. But at the end 
of the day, it’s up to the NHS to look at the 
studies and work things out as they so 
publicly need to be worked out. 

When did gay rights become an integral 
part of your political agenda? 1 just 
think it goes with the territory if you’re 
a liberal. It’s not something you pick up 
like you’d pick up sweets from a sweet 
shop. The philosophy of liberalism is all 
around treating people as individuals, 
without prejudice, and with compassion 
and tolerance. And then doing your bit 
in politics to try and help everybody 

- regardless of their sexuality, their 
gender, their religion, their world view 

- so everyone has the kind of equal 
opportunities to get ahead in life. That’s 
liberalism in a nutshell. It’d be a bit off 
to be a liberal and not believe in equal 
opportunities for the LGBT community in 
this country. It’s part of the DNA of what 
liberalism and being a liberal is all about. 
What’s your party’s most important 
moment in the history of gay rights? 1 
think it would be the introduction of same- 

sex marriage, actually. It’s probably the 
most dramatic instalment in a long line of 
instances where the Liberal Democrats 
have pioneered and led with LGBT rights 
- well before and well ahead of other 
parties. It’s going back to Section 28 and 
adoption rules, and a number of iconic 
votes that’ve happened over the past ten, 
15, 20 years. But same-sex marriage is 
probably the most iconic of all. 
According to teacher’s union NASUWT, 
one in four LGBT teachers feel they 
have to hide their sexuality. How can 
we change that and create a more 
accepting environment? It’s very much 
about attitudes. The attitudes of their 
own bosses and head teachers play a 
massive role. Of all the things I’d hope 
would encourage any man or woman to 
be open about their sexuality at school, 
leadership from head teachers is the most 
important. At the end of the day, little 
children shouldn’t be wildly interested 
in the personal lives of their teachers, 
whether they’re gay, straight, married or 
not. It’s not the focus of why they’re in the 

classroom. But equally, it’s distressing to 
think that teachers are hiding their true 
selves. But the onus lies quite heavily on 
the shoulders of the head teachers. 

The Albert Kennedy Trust says there 
are up to 5,000 LGBT youths living 
on the streets - and that this group is 
at the highest risk of abuse, violence 
and sexual exploitation. What would 
you party do to combat this? A couple 
of my friends, a gay couple, told me 
about the Albert Kennedy Trust. They do 
some fantastic work, don’t they? And the 
Department for Communities and Local 
Government has given some money to 
the AKT to start a project from the spring 
of this year - to support the AKT to really 
reach out to those who’re homeless, 
who can be specially catered for. That’s 
exactly what we need to be doing. A 
partnership including - if necessary - 
some money, working hand in glove with 
the folk at Albert Kennedy. It’s probably 
the best way we can try and identify the 
scale of the problem and indeed identify 
solutions to deal with it. ■ 



Stephen has spent ten years as the 

MP for Bristol West. Back in 2005, 
his second attempt at running for 
Parliament, he became the Lib 
Bern’s very first out MP - something 
he speaks proudly of. 

Stephen faced some abuse from 
voters when the idea of an openly 
gay person in public life was 
more alien. “1 had people writing 
some unpleasant letters,” he tells 
GT. “Prejudice is irrational, but 
some of it was comically absurd. 

1 had one letter, scrawled in the 
person’s own writing, where 
the guy said: ‘I’ve always voted 
Liberal Democrat, but then 1 found 
out you’re a queer. . . So I’m voting 

Labour.’ It’s like, what planet are 
you on?! 

“Then there were people saying 1 
shouldn’t be allowed into schools, 
that I’ll burn in hell. That sort of stuff. 
And everyone seemed to know 1 was 
gay because the media constantly 
referred to the fact. 1 told them I’m 
the Liberal Democrat candidate, but 
it always seemed to be printed that 
I’m ‘the gay candidate.’” 

He argues that gay rights is 
inherent to the Lib Dem outlook 
on the world: “The clue is in the 
title. Liberalism stands for people 
being who they are without too 
much interference from the state, 
not having to conform to other 
people’s expectations, feeling free 
to go about your business without 
victimisation, prejudice or control 
over your life. In terms of record, 
the Liberals were there speaking 
up for gay rights long before many 
other people were. 

“1 think the Conservative Party is 
still on a journey. Though to give the 
Prime Minister credit, 1 think he’s 
been a big part of that. But you’ve 
still got to face the fact that - in the 
vote on equal marriage in 2013 - 
more than half of their MPs didn’t 
support it.” 

The same-sex marriage vote 
was unlike just about any: It was a 
civil rights issue. Was it not odd to 
see colleagues, and even friends, 
debating his very existence in 
law? “There were some speeches 
made, in terribly polite language. 

about how if a man married a man 
it would be some dreadful change 
we shouldn’t rush into. And I’m 
pretty thick-skinned, but some of it 
was quite hurtful. Hearing people 
elected on the same page as me, 
standing up in the Chamber and 
saying that if 1 love someone, my 
rights are not the same as their 
rights. It’s saying that a small 
proportion of the population should 
be denied certain rights, and 
therefore in their mind they’re 
saying I’m not as good as them.” 

About one third of MPs voted 
against marriage equality. Could 
he vote for a candidate, even a Lib 
Dem, who’d been anti-equality? 

“1 personally would probably 
find it very difficult to vote for a 
candidate who did not support my 
human rights. Almost impossible, 
in fact. It would mean one of their 
core beliefs is that I’m not equal to 
them,” Stephen says, speaking more 
frankly than all the MPs we spoke 
with. “1 was very disappointed in 
some of my colleagues, shall we say. 
Really disappointed.” 

As a minister in the coalition, 
Stephen has been responsible 
for community cohesion - which 
includes better representation of 
gay people. “1 find it incredible, for 
example, that there are still no out 
gay footballers. 1 think the role of 
the government is to offer strong 
encouragement to the FA that a gay 
footballer can feel comfortable to 
come out while they’re playing.” ■ 

Same-sex marriage 


voted for 


voted against 


did not vote 


Why vote 
Lib Dem, Steve? 

[01] For a strong liberal 
voice in government. 
There are a lot of 
extreme voices at the 
moment, like UKIP, and 
there has to be a voice 
like ours that speaks up 
about racism, sexism 
and homophobia. 

[02] We need to tie 
up civil partnerships 

and open them up to 
straight couples, so 
anyone can marry or 
have a civil partnership. 
[03] We make these 
issues a priority. It 
would’ve never seen 
the light of day under 
a purely Conservative 
government. It’s thanks 
to the Deputy Prime 
Minister and Lynne 
Featherstone, liberals, 
that they did. ■ 

34 GT 



Natalie Bennett, 49, originally 

hails from Australia where she lived 
for much of her youth - studying 
in Sydney and coming across 
gay issues for the first time while 
playing sports. 

“1 played a lot of women’s cricket,” 
she begins, “and it’s true, there 
were a lot of lesbian women playing 
cricket. What tended to happen 
is that women who went off and 
married men, they tended to do 
different things on the weekend. 
Whereas women cricketers would 
form a relationship with each other 
so they could both play cricket on 
the weekend. 

“That was my first awareness 
of these issues. And some of my 
school teachers who 1 played 
cricket with outside school, they 
weren’t out in the school, but that 
became obvious.” 

Lesbian cricket opened her eyes, 
along with two years doing feminist 
volunteering in Thailand - where 
she says many gay men confided 
in her of their fears at pressures to 
have a traditional family. 

She’s keen to assert that Britain 
is home, repeating that she “chose 
to be British”, and considered the 
introduction of same-sex marriage 

an important statement about British 
culture. Though none of her gay 
friends have married - “They just 
don’t like the idea of marriage” 

- she commends it as David 
Cameron’s biggest achievement. 

But equality in civil partnerships 
is a much bigger issue for the 
Green leader. “I’ve campaigned 
on this a lot,” Natalie asserts, 
arguing it comes back to her 
feminism. “1 can’t imagine 
marriage, a civil partnership 
would feel more comfortable for 
me. But that’s not why 1 campaign 
on it - it’s just an option that should 
be there for everyone.” 

Sex and relationship education 
is also pertinent. Caroline Lucas, 
the Green’s first MP, put forward a 
bill to Parliament that would have 
LGBT issues mandatorily included 
in sex ed. “1 think it should start 
as soon as you start school,” she 
explains, putting the Greens in- 
line with similar policies of Labour 
and the Lib Dems. 

Her reasons for educating kids 
“age appropriately” from age 
four, however, differ. “Kids are 
going through all sorts of changes, 
and puberty is happening on 
average earlier and earlier,” 

Natalie explains, pointing out that 
these are her own views and are 
“controversial, by the way.” What’s 
causing early pubescence is, 
apparently, “some of the chemicals 
we’re putting into water,” as well 
as high fat diets and changes in 
nutrition. “There’s a whole lot of 

Nevertheless, it’s party policy 
to have laws changed to make 
schools educate everyone about 
gay issues. They don’t believe in 
a national curriculum, but “every 
school should have to have a 
policy on homophobic bullying 

- if a teacher or supervisor sees 
something, they need guidelines 
on how to react.” 

Bigotry remains a problem in 
many walks of life. One Green 
parliamentary candidate, for 

Cambridge, described trans 
women as, “a sort of ‘opt-in’ version 
of what it is to be a woman.” It was 
surprising, given the Greens have 
an impressive record on these 
issues - it’s noted they began 
supporting marriage equality 
so long ago that they can’t even 
remember. Bennett said at the 
time that Greens “express our 
sympathies with anyone who was 
hurt or offended by [his] remarks.” 

That’s not the only issue she’s 
resolute on. Asked about the 
relatively high rates of drug use 
in the gay community, she says: 
“The war on drugs has failed. 

We should be treating drugs as 
a health issue and not a criminal 
justice issue - that’s where the 
Greens are coming from.” And 
she speaks from experience: 

“When 1 was at university 1 had 
a few puffs of marijuana, but it 
wasn’t really for me, my lungs felt 
like sandpaper.” 

The Greens would overturn the 
blood ban - abolishing the current 
situation of a year’s abstinence for 
men who have sex with men - and 
offer specialist services around HIV 
prevention and awareness, though 
they don’t have a stance on PrEP. 

Not everything can be done by 
law. Cultural change is important - 
and nowhere is that more apparent 
than in sports, with not a single 
out footballer in Britain. Should 
England be heading to the Qatar 
World Cup? “Personally no, that’s 
my personal opinion,” she says, 

“1 think there are so many issues 
around Qatar - gay rights issues, 
workers’ rights issues. 

“1 think very clearly there’s a 
real cultural problem. That’s why 
athletes so often have come out 
after they’ve finished competing. 
There’s a serious responsibility for 
sport. The evidence suggests it’s 
lagging behind because people 
aren’t coming out. If there’s 
homophobic chants, for example, 
it should be treated in the same 
way as racism.” ■ 


health & beauty ^' — ' ShOW 


in association with 

Harley Street Skin' 

16-17 May 2015 I London Olympia 


Over the next 36 
pages, you’ll find 
eveiything from 
interviews, tip^ 
statistics, advice and 
more on how to take 
care of your body a 
little better. If you 
want to, that is. Plus, 
supeiheroes tell us 
how they get their 
bodies battle ready! 



Avengers: Age of Ultron 

40 GT ^ 


big kid at heart - that’s what we’re 

discovering Chris Evans is. And, it 
turns out, he’s a bit of a geek too. 

The man behind Captain 
America’s winged mask has started 
our conversation by saying how 
much of a comic book fan he is and, 
well, you know we love a man who 
loves his comics. . . 

“1 didn’t know who Ultron was 
prior to Joss [Whedon, writer 
and director] throwing him in the 
movie. . .” he says of the big bad in 
the latest superhero blockbuster. 
Avengers: Age of Ultron. 

“That’s so funny!” he says 
when we reference having first 
experienced the robotic villain 
in 1984’s Secret Wars series. He 
adopts a mockingly boasty voice. 

“1 kind of fancy myself a bit of a 
comic connoisseur, but he was new 
to me - I’m impressed you knew 
who he was.” 

Is it wrong that we’re cheering on 
the bad guy? 

“No! Of course not! That’s what 
makes good movies like this. Look 
how good Tom Hiddleston was. 

The more you like the bad guy, the 
more entertaining the movie is. If 
you don’t care about the bad guy 
at all then there really isn’t much 
conflict to invest in.” 

It turns out Chris hasn’t read 
Secret Wars, so we’re still that little 
bit geekier. But he’s the man in 
charge, so he wins. Just. 


“It sounds silly to say this but 
it really is growing on me,” he 
says of the role in question. “The 
first movie, you’re so scared and 
the second one, you’re trying to 
not mess up this amazing group 
ensemble that’s trying to kind 
of revolutionise the way they do 
comic book films. By the third time 
you put the suit on, with Captain 
America 2, you really start to find 
your footing and then hit your 
stride and feel really comfortable. 
You’re very present with it, you’re 
not necessarily worried about the 
future or trying to analyse the past. 
You’re very much present. And I’m 
loving it. It’s kind of at the point 
where you’re almost sad to see the 
end coming around the corner in 
the next couple of years.” 

The 33-year-old seems surprised 
when we mention that he’s fast on 
the way to being the actor to play 
a superhero role the most - with 
Hugh Jackman currently reigning 
with seven stints as Wolverine. 

“Wow, that’s a lot. . . You sign 
those big contracts and that was 
part of my initial apprehension 
when 1 first signed up, because 
they DO have a plan, and the plan 
involves you to be committed to a 
role for six movies. And that’s just 
kind of intimidating. But now that 
it’s kind of happened and we’ve 
actually crossed the midway 
point, it almost feels like it’s gone 
by a bit too quick.” 

On the day Chris and GT speak, 
the news is full of him visiting, 
in full costume, sick children in 
hospital with another Marvel-lous 
Chris. That would be Chris Pratt, 
aka Guardians of the Galaxy’s 
Star-Lord. Ever humble, he almost 
shrugs it off. 

“Oh right, yeah, that was a fun 

Does he not think he’s opening 


the floodgates to lots of gay men 
putting on fake coughs to try and 
get a visit from the pair of them in 

He laughs hard. “That’s really 
funny actually. It’s nice being able 
to do that stuff, and Chris Pratt’s 
such a good guy - I’ve really got 
to give him credit. He was the one 
behind organising all of it, so 1 can’t 
take too much of the credit.” 

See, we told you. Humble. 

And that costume is no easy 
thing. . . Michelle Pfeiffer used lots 
of talc in Batman Returns - does the 
Captain have a similar trick? 

“There really is no trick getting 
into it, it’s with the help of multiple 
people. The problem is just the 
amount of sweat that’s produced. At 
the end of the day you’re peeling 
that costume off and there’s 
probably... you lose at least five, 
ten pounds a day. That might be 
a bit of an over-exaggeration, but 
it certainly does feel that way. It’s 
a tough thing to do stunt work in. 
When you start running around and 
throwing punches and kicks, you 
really start heating up.” 

Do we spot a sideline for when 
Avengers finishes - The Captain 
America Workout DVD? 

Chris laughs. “Yes! That’s right!” 
He adopts an advertising voice. 

“All you need is a Captain America 
suit and trust me, you WILL lose 

Does that not pose a problem, 
given that he needs to maintain a 
certain size? 

“Yeah, that’s one of the things 
I’ve always said to the higher-ups 
at Marvel. They have to sympathise 
with the fact that we’re all trying 
to put on as much muscle as we 
possibly can, but these suits are so 
counter-productive. Once you start 
filming, you’re ONLY losing weight. 
It’s so hard to maintain your size, 
that’s why you try and get as big as 
you possibly can prior to filming, 
because by the time you finish 
shooting you’re gonna be about ten 
pounds lighter.” 

Between shooting, does he slim 

“Oh, 1 lose it ALL. 1 lose every bit 
of muscle I’ve gained during the 
film. The second we’ve finished 
filming 1 don’t even think about the 
gym for months. So I’m actually 
just getting back into it right now. 

1 started picking up some weights 
around February. It takes about 
three months to get back where 
you need to be. But in the in- 
between time 1 avoid the gym like 
the plague, because, you know, 
your body can only take so much. 
My body, naturally, doesn’t want 
to be as big as 1 try to make it for 
those films. So you try to give 
your body a rest. You give your 
joints a rest, you just let your body 
recuperate. But now it’s time to get 
back in action.” 

What’s his best tip for getting that 

“Hmmm... This sounds so 
meathead-ish but you really have to 
do bench press and squats. Those 
two things, your whole body just 
kind of gets bigger as a result. 
They’re better than any other 
individual exercise 1 can think of. 
Everything just kind of grows. . .” 

But how many, until we can look 
like that? He laughs. “1 wish 1 
could give you some shortcuts, 
unfortunately there is NO shortcut.” 

Talking of body, does he not feel 
that Thor is stealing his shirtless 

“1 think Thor steals 
EVERYONE’S shirtless thunder, 
he’s tough to compete with.” He 
thinks about it and chuckles. 

“Well, Marvel know what they’re 
doing, what can 1 say...” 

Uh, that they’re wrong? Although 
Star-Lord is now creeping up the 
popularity stakes with the gay fans 
- what’s the Captain going to do to 
fight back? 

“Oh God, it’s a losing battle 1 
suppose. Some you just can’t win!” 
he laughs. 

We suggest he’s topped the polls 
before, he can again... 


“Which polls? The shirtless ones? 
Oh no, am 1 slipping in the polls? 
No, you can be honest... Go ahead, 
give me the truth, have 1 fallen? 

Well it’s Star-Lord’s fault. 

“Oh, is it? Well 1 might have to 
take him out...” 

He’s previously mentioned Brad 
Pitt as his man crush - and he’s 
sticking with that. 

“Yeah, probably still going to be 
Brad. He’s just in too many of my 
favourite movies. He’s a tough one 
to beat, too.” 

He’s happy to joke along as 
we make our obligatory gay 
references, but we can’t not ask 
about the gay fan base that put him, 
a straight man, in those polls... 

“1 guess 1 don’t always 
compartmentalise it like that, like, 
‘This is my gay fan base and that’s 
my straight fan base,”’ he laughs. 
“It’s just nice to have a fan base, 

1 suppose. So anyone that comes 
up and has something nice to say, 

1 don’t say ‘OK, put that one in the 
gay box,”’ he laughs again. “1 
guess 1 don’t see it that way.” 

Something else that makes our 
geekish gay heart flutter - rumours 

that Spider-Man will join Chris 
in Civil War. . . He adopts a very 
knowing tone. “That’s right...” 

How does he feel about sharing 
the screen with the web-slinger? 

“1 think it’s great! 1 love what 
Marvel is doing. Marvel is 
really trying to break rules and 
tread new territory and just 
give the fans what they want. 

It’s an exciting possibility and 
I’m hoping that comes together 
because 1 think that would just 
be a kind of spectacle. 1 think 
people would be thrilled to see 

that crossover happen, so I’m 
keeping my fingers crossed.” 

This is the kind of thing that’s 
going to make the internet 

“Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, 

1 mean, even me,” he says, 
suddenly excited. “Just as a fan 
of comic books, that’s something 
1 wanna see too! So I’m honoured 
to be apart of it.” 

Who does he think should be the 
new Spider-Man? 

“God, that’s a good question. 

I’d say maybe go young. Make 
him 16-years-old like he’s 
supposed to be in the comic 

books. That actually might 
be kinda cool to give a very 
youthful feel to the character. 
Marvel... They don’t make bad 
decisions, they really don’t.” 

Maybe in merchandise, we 
suggest, having seen his face 
on underpants... His mother 
keeps all of the Captain America 
merchandise - “we’re running out 
of space in our attic. . .” - and the 
weirdest thing he’s seen his face 
on is chewing gum, but being an 
action figure ranks high on his 

“It’s great. 1 kind of wish 1 could 
somehow rewind my life and go 
back to being 11-years-old and 
kinda pit myself against He-Man 
in a giant battle to the death in 
my bedroom. 1 still, every now 
and then, might try and slip into 
my childhood and throw out a 
few catchphrases while 1 make 
my action figure run across the 
kitchen table. It’s fun. It’s fun to 
tap into your youth and kind of 
see it through a child’s eyes.” 

With rumours that Chris is 
packing it all in to become a 
director, we’re concerned for the 
future of our Captain. But fear not.. 

“I’d venture to say if they’d 
have me... 1 think it’s almost 
like high school. You’re kind of 
always looking ahead, about 
when you’ll graduate, but then 
when graduation day arrives you 
kind of don’t wanna leave. So 1 
wouldn’t be surprised if, once we 
wrap Infinity Wars. . . 1 AM gonna 
try and focus on directing a bit 
more, but by no means am 1 done 
acting. And if they’d have me 
back, yeah. I’d probably consider 

So there’s a chance we will see 
that face-off with Star-Lord? 

“Wouldn’t that be fun?” 

But who would win. . . 

“God, that’s a tough one. That’s a 
tough one. I’m gonna go with Cap. 
Gotta go with Cap.” ■ 

Avengers: Age of Ultron is in cinemas 
now, ©chrisevans 

44 GT 


We asked 1,000 gay and bisexual 
men about their bodies. What they’d 
change, what they love and to what 
lengths they’d go to get the ‘perfect’ 
body- if such a thing even exists, that 
is. Ilien we tallied the results and 
asked the experts so that we can now 
reveal the naked truth about how gay 
men really feel about their bodies... 

The old adage goes that we only 

have one body, so we should make it 
last a lifetime. 

And some of us do. Some of us 
spend so many hours in the gym 
we practically live there, toning 
^ every nook and cranny, spending 
g our heard-earned cash on the latest 
4 whey protein infused whatever. 
Some of us, if we’re being honest, 
could perhaps look after ourselves a 
little better. Fewer pints here, fewer 
takeaways there, and maybe even a 
morning jog every once in a while. 

The point is though, practically 
all of us are thinking about how we 
look. According to the results of our 
survey, anyway, which found that a 
massive 90% of gay and bisexual 
men - that’s you lot - think about 
their size and shape quite regularly. 

But as you’ll see from the next few 
pages, we’re perhaps not thinking 
too positively. More than half of us 
say that gay men, in general, have 

a poor body image. And only a 
quarter of us are confident with the 
way that we look. 

We want to say now, for the record, 
that this survey hasn’t come about 
to judge anyone, or make anyone 
feel bad about the way they look. 
Our relationship with our bodies is 
one of the most complicated we’ll 
have in our lifetime, and the only 
way to make it better is to have a 
greater understanding of how we 
- and everyone else - really feels. 
Hopefully our experts, with their 
sage advice and analysis, will help 
squelch any hangups you might 
have, or help you feel better about 
any you’ve had in the past. 

But what’s important here is to get 
you lot thinking and talking about 

So it’s time for GT to reveal the 
facts - like never before - about 
what gay and bisexual men REALLY 
think about about their bodies... ■ 


Mark Byron 2014 Big Brother semi-finalist and self-confessed 
cosmetic surgery addict. He’s since had rhinoplasty and liposuction 
as a result of watching himself on TV. 

RDr Anita Sturnham a GP and skincare specialist for more than 12 
years, founder of NURISS Skincare and Wellness Clinic and former 
TV doctor for The Alan Titchmarsh Show. 

Chris Jones GT’s resident fitness expert, who has a history 
suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. He shares his fitness 
advice through his Average Joe-Mo column every issue. 

Dr Harpal Bains heads up Harpal Clinic, which combines 
■ nutritional and preventive medicine plus lifestyle changes to 
achieve internal anti-ageing. 


A half of respondents said they were unhappy with 
it, while 34 % said it “depended on what mood they 
were in.” Only 1% of people who responded said they 
“didn’t really care that much.” 

Dr Anita says “We are all more interested 
in our appearance than we like to admit. I 
don’t think that this is an indication of vanity, 
however. I think modern society is very driven by image 
and beauty and therefore having concern about one’s 
appearance is quite normal and understandable.” ■ 

Only a quarter said that their friends 
were confident about how they iooked 

Chris says; “To echo an ever recurring 
theme here, ‘Yes, I think we’re all victims 
of perceiving we have poor body image.’ 
Adverts aimed at gay men expect us all to be big, 
muscled, toned, thin, tanned and preened to hell - so of 
course that’s helped seed insecurities. Unfortunately, 
it’s something that won’t change overnight but you can 
make small changes to YOURSELF, such as diet and 
exercise, that can help deal with body image stress.” ■ 

But how 
would we 
our own 

02 % 











Bit chubby 



02 % 


Eight people 
out of 1,000 
said they 

‘‘buiit iike 
a brick 

56% - more than half said that, in 
generai, they thought gay men had 
a “poor body image,” and that guys 
seem to stress out about it too much 

Mark says: “It doesn’t surprise me that 
more than half of people asked believe this. 

1 can definitely relate to it as 1 find that 1 often 
compare myself to men I’ll never EVER look like. It’s 
important for me and a lot of my friends to strive for 
perfection, and 1 do put unrealistic pressures on myself. 
Unless 1 looked in impeccable physical condition, I’d feel 
that my body image was poor. It seems to me that more 
than half of the gay community also feel this way.” ■ 

And our body isn’t something we’re 
keen on talking about with our 
friends, either, with 47% saying that 
if a friend asked if he looked fat, the 
appropriate response would be to 
say he looked great, even if it’s a lie, 
while 5% said they’d rather quickly 
change the subject 

Mark says: “1 do feel that, on the whole, a lot 
, of gay men - including me - will compare our 

selves to our friends and partners. 1 think 47% 
is quite a substantial percentage and personally feel the 
reason behind it is that we can relate to the insecurities. 
1 believe the 5% is for the same reason. Honesty isn’t 
always the best policy when it comes to telling people 
how they look, it seems!” ■ 

Mark says; “Again, I believe this comes 
from comparing ourselves to other 
gay men. Nobody wants to feel chubby 
or unattractive sitting on Brighton beach or in 
Soho Square on a hot summer’s day! Luckily this 
percentage isn’t too high. I personally wouldn’t 
take my top off in public. 1 put a lot of effort into my 
outfits, so I’d rather people see my amazing shirt than 
something I’d feel insecure about!” ■ 

48 GT 


09 % 

such as David Beckham, it’s no wonder that many men 
feel under pressure to improve their appearance. 

I’m sure that the media drives both men and women’s 


insecurities with their appearance.” ■ 

06 % 

I Hair 

04 % 

j Chest 

03 % 

j Teeth 

02 % 

I Arms 

• Dr Harpal says; “It’s important to keep in mind 
that these people are paid to look that way - 
and have the resources to find a way to do it! 

The rest of us have time constraints, stress in life - which 
leads to classic ‘stress’ or ‘cortisol’ style weight gain in 
the abdomen and face - plus, we like our socialising and 
food! If you’re living around 70-80% right, you should 
congratulate yourself. Life is all about balance.” ■ 

2/3s of us said we^d rather be a little 
bit bigger if it meant that we were in 
good health, rather than smaller and 
unhealthy. Cheers to that 

01 % 


01 % 


01 % 


16 % 

even pick a 
body part! 

• Dr Anita says; “Newsflash.... Being ‘fit’ is the 
new thin! Many of us now realise that the best 
way of improving our health and wellbeing 
is to exercise and to eat well. Building lean muscle 
mass is a great way of keeping our metabolic rates up, 
improving energy levels and our general health. But 
muscle weighs more than fat, so as we workout and 
convert the unhealthy fat to muscle, we’ll look more 
toned, but may weigh heavier on the scales. The weight 
on the scales is not the important factor here..” ■ 

• Dr Harpal says; “This is quite a healthy 

attitude as it denotes self-acceptance. But the 
definition of ‘bigger’ needs to be redefined. 
If most of the weight gain is in the abdomen, this could 
point to various potential problems in the future, like 
metabolic syndrome, testosterone deficiency and high 
stress of adrenal fatigue.” ■ 


1/10 the number of gay and bisexual 
men whoVe had a surgical or non- 
invasive procedure to improve their 
bodies in the past. But what kind of 
procedures have this group had? 

30 % botox 

23 % laser hair removal 
17 % liposuction 
15 % dermal fillers 
15 % rhinoplasty 

07 % radio frequency skin tightening 

07 % hair transplant 

06 % penis enlargement 

06 % fat freezing 

06 % abdominoplasty 

06 % face lift 

01 % arm lift 

01 % neck lift 

01 % blepharoplasty 

Mark says; “rve had botox, laser hair 
removal, liposuction AND rhinoplasty! 
Cosmetic enhancements are nothing to brag 
about and 1 do believe that people shouldn’t take them 
lightly. For me, I was always unconfident about my lack 
of abs and my nose - so as soon as 1 had the opportunity 
to change them, I did. 1 definitely feel that I’m quite 
extreme and almost obsessed with my image, which 
isn’t a positive thing. I’ve had procedures done - lips, 
botox - that I didn’t even need, and I’ll surely have done 
again. Luckily, this is a really low percentage of the gay 
community and hopefully it stays that way.” ■ 


72% - nearly three quarters of us have 
considered having either a surgical or 
non-invasive procedure in the future. 
But 29% of those were strict in saying 
they didn’t want to go under the knife 

Dr Harpal says; “These days, the need to go 
under the knife has decreased considerably 
with fat-busting procedures, like fat freezing, 
and more traditional but highly effective ‘in between’ 
techniques, like Vaser liposuction. Skin rejuvenation 
procedures range from Ellanse - a collagen stimulating 
filler - radio frequency to increase collagen, 
threadlifting and growth factor technology for hair loss. 
There’s something for most people without having to 
resort to surgery.” ■ 

said they’d be willing to pay up to 
five grand to get the perfect body 

1/10 said nrioney would be no object 

On the flip-side, a third of us said we’d 
never be willing to part with any of 
our money for a cosmetic procedure 

Dr Anita says “More than 50,000 cosmetic 
surgery procedures were performed in the UK 
last year, according to the British Association 
of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, with liposuction recording 
a 41% rise. However, with the risks of ‘going under 
the knife’ being highlighted regularly in the press, 
people are also looking more and more for non-surgical 
alternatives to improve their body image.” ■ 

are we 
thinking of 

44 % 


37 % 

Laser hair 

29 % 


21 % 

Fat freezing 

20 % 








17 % 



16 % 


11 % 

Neck lift 

02 % 


f Dr Anita says: “It seems that every week 

brings a new diet craze. From low-fat, to low- 
carb, to food combining, to caveman diets. 

In my experience, if something sounds too good to be 
true, then it probably is! If these fad diets really worked, 
then we’d all be on them and we’d stay on them. The 
reality is that fad diets don’t work to help you lose weight 
in a sustainable way. Doctors and dieticians continue 
to emphasise the same advice that they’ve been 
advocating for years. To lose weight, we need to eat less 
and exercise more. Simple.” ■ 

29% - the number of gay men whoVe 
tried a ‘fad dief to shift some weight. 

Common diets tried include Atkins, the 5:2 and dangerous ‘crash diets.’ 

Dr Harpal says: “Most diets have some basis 
of genuine science in them. The difficulty is 
to differentiate between the real science and 
the pseudo-science. It’s also important to remember 
that there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all.’ One 
amazing book that analyses how and why different 
diets work for different people is Living Low Garb by 
Jonny Bowden. Even if it’s not your choice of diet, his 
method of analysis is worth its weight in gold - and may 
help towards a lifestyle approach to eating, as opposed 
to the next fad diet. But if you’re ever in doubt, ask 
yourself what your ancestors ate...” ■ 


40% are currently members of a 

56% - think that men are attracted 
to all kinds of different body types. 
But 1/2 of us think that gay men only 
want guys with ‘perfect’ bodies. 

Mark says: “I can’t really relate to either 
, of these things as I’d never actively seek 

a partner just based on how well their abs 
show! 1 think people find six packs attractive as they 
are a sign of hard work and physical fitness which 
is a great combination! It’s a pity that 50% have this 
opinion and 1 believe it comes from insecurity once 
again, and the belief that you need to have the body of 
a God to settle down with a partner.” ■ 

Chris says: “1 think we just put too much 
pressure on ourselves and our looks. To 
be frank and honest, if you’re having sex 
then that person clearly sees something that you’re 
refusing to! Starting a light exercise regime will make 
you feel confident and yes, more attractive. Releasing 
endorphins will make you feel positive about whipping 
off that shirt! Make a start, it can be a slow process but 

what is stopping you?” ■ 

Some of 
us may be 
of gyms, 
but how 
often do 
we go? 

02 % 

More than 
once a day, 1 
live there! 



49 % 

Two or three 
times a week 


Once a week 

04 % 


11 % 



I’m a 
but I can’t 
the last time 
I went... 

Chris says: “Any visit to the gym is brilliant. 
It’s a positive step in the right direction 
and the goal is to feel good about yourself 
and wanting people to notice. Let’s be honest, here. 
Depending on your aims and ideal results, heading 
to the gym between three and four times a week is a 
healthy amount for someone who wants to tone up and 
increase/maintain lean muscle. But according to this 
statistic, 19% are hardly going and just wasting their 
money?! If you have that money lying around, then book 
into a bootcamp or hire a personal trainer instead!” ■ 

25% - a quarter of us have actually 
gone as far to cancel a date because 
weVe been unhappy with how we 
looked. 42% - a large portion of us, 
2/5, said that weVe been criticised 
by our boyfriends or even sexual 
partners about our bodies and how 
we look. Which isn’t the nicest thing 
to hear from someone we love/lust... 

Chris says: “Gah! I mean, it’s so easy to blame 
the media... So I’ll blame some other things as 
well! I grew up watching WWE and reading 
comic books. ‘Oh hello, both are filled with big muscular 
men.’ That lodged into my psyche at an early age - ‘This 
is what I must look like to attract someone.’ Like gay men, 
body dysmorphia comes in all shapes and sizes. We all 
have it on different levels.” ■ 

2/3 - most of us say we’re happy with 
what we’ve been given in the trouser 
department, sticking to the old adage 
that it’s not the size, it’s how we use it., 

10% fried a penis enhancing product 

52 GT 


the number of 
us who exercise 
“at home” 

Whether that’s using 
weights, or going for a 
run around the park 

52 % 

Chris says: “I can see WHY men are driven 
to steroids as they see a need to ‘become that 
big muscle guy, and steroids are the only 
way.’ Yes, steroids are very easy to get hold of these 
days, despite them being illegal in the UK. If anyone is 
tempted by them then let me remind you that they’re 
a drug with a short-term shelf life. You don’t commit 
to using them regularly your ‘new muscle gains’ will 
fade and you’ll have only messed up your natural 
testosterone levels. Not worth it, boys!” ■ 

Survey For more information 

You can find help and support for issues involving 
negative body image, dysmorphic disorder or even 
reliance on steroids at the following services;, mind., or contact your local GP. 

Chris says; “This is higher than I expected. 
You can achieve the body you want by 
working out at home or going for a run. 1 
believe any movement is just simply better than none! 
If you’re careful of your diet and say, do three sets of 
ten press-ups in the morning - when your testosterone 
levels are high - you’ll start to notice a difference. And 
in my eyes, that’s bare minimum.” ■ 

33 out of 1,000 said theyVe used 
steroids to enhance gym performanoe 

Dr Anita Sturnham and Dr Harpal Bains will be appearing at The Anti- 
Ageing Health and Beauty Show at London’s Olympia on 16-17 May. GT 
readers can buy two-for-one tickets by quoting GTMAG at the checkout, 
or get £10 off a VIP package,, 0844 2097323. 


54 GT 



Unhappy with what you’re packing 
downstairs? Getting sniggers from 
size queens? Well help is at hand if 
you’ve got £4,000 and some fat to 
spare. After hair transplants, penis 
enlargements are fast becoming big 
business for plastic surgeons. GT 
examines the lengths some men go 
to, to pack a punch in their pants 

Only the smug and the self-assured 

would turn down the offer of an 
extra couple of inches or a little 
more girth in their manhood. 

Even though we’re reasonably 
satisfied with our lot, being the 
proud owner of a bigger cock is just 
wishful thinking for some of us. 

But for others, witnessing the 
likes of David Beckham proudly 
using his God-given (cock and) 
ball skills to advertise his undies 
range has made them question 
whether or not what they have to 
offer is enough. 

And those gay men who’ve 
decided they don’t measure up are 
resorting to surgery to produce a 
plumper penis. 

There are three proven 
penoplasty techniques that will 
give you those all-important extra 
inches. Penis girth surgery - or 
lipofilling - involves injecting fat 
from another part of your body into 
your dick. Penis length surgery is 
the most common technique, and 
involves cutting the ligament that 
attaches the penis to the pubic 
bone and performing a skin graft 
at the base of the penis for extra 
length. And for blokes with a 
bigger belly, liposuction removes 
fat below the abdomen to make 
your dick look larger. 

Last year, Harley Street plastic 
surgeon Dr Roberto Viel performed 
penoplasty on at least five men a 
week - that’s 300 operations in a 
year for just the one doctor. Extra 
width will cost you £3,850, while 
lengthening is about £4,000. 

“For most of our clients, they 
simply feel self-conscious in the 
gym changing room or when 
wearing swimming trunks,” 
explains Dr Roberto. “I’d say 
around 80% of my clients want an 
increase in both girth and 
length. The penoplasty can 
increase flaccid length by 
one to four inches and the 
circumference by about the same 
amount. But we’re very realistic 
about what we can achieve. 

“We have seen a huge increase 
in penoplasty and since the 
David Beckham H&M campaign 
began, we’ve seen mammoth 
waiting lists in our clinics.” 

Danny was 42 when he had 
his first penpolasty with Dr 
Roberto. He admits that since his 
schooldays, he has felt insecure 
getting changed in front of other 
men. “1 knew 1 was below average 
and thought having a bigger 
penis might also be appreciated 
by my boyfriend,” he tells us. “So 
1 saved up the money and had 
the op, which took just over an 
hour. 1 was quite sore for several 
days, with some bruising around 
my groin. Then 1 couldn’t stop 
looking in the mirror! I’d gone 
from a 3inch flaccid penis to 
more than 5inch - and the girth 
almost doubled. 1 felt completely 
different and it had a really 
positive knock-on effect on my 
confidence. My boyfriend thought 
1 was silly to take risks with 
surgery, but he admitted he was 
really impressed and said sex 




Tablets and 

Makers of tablets 
and lotions claim 
they contain 
vitamins, minerals, 
herbs and hormones 
to give you a bigger 
manhood. But there’s 
no clinical evidence 
they work and some 
can be dangerous. 
America’s University 
of Maryland 
examined some 
treatments and 
discovered they 
contained traces 
of lead, pesticides, 

E coli bacteria and 
animal faeces. 
Chance of success: 




This is where you 
place a tube over 
your wee fella and 
then pump out 
the air to create 
a vacuum. The 
vacuum draws 
blood into your knob 
and makes it swell. 
But if you overuse it, 
you risk damaging 
your penis’ tissue, 
making your 
erections much 

Chance of success: 




To make your 
cock larger, 
these devices 
involve putting a 
weight or a small 
extending frame 
on your floppy 
dick to stretch it. 
Some men using 
traction devices 
have seen a 1-2cm 
growth, but use 
it incorrectly and 
you risk causing 
yourself damage. 

Chance of success: 



Not to be mistaken 
with jerking, jelqing 
is where you 
repeatedly pull 
your flaccid dick 
using your thumb 
and index finger to 
increasing the size 
of your hard-on. 
The idea is that 
it’ll increase the 
blood capacity of 
the penis’ erectile 
tissue, increasing 
the length and 
girth. The reality 
is it makes no 
difference... But it’s 
fun trying. 

Chance of success: 

Zero. ■ 

And what if you have trouble 
keeping the little guy up? Health 
Express independent medical 
advisor Dr Hilary Jones explains... 

“Is it common? Yes! 
The majority of 
men will experience 
at least a slight 
form of erectile 
dysfunction in their 
lives - from having 
one too many drinks 
to feeling fatigued. 
And persistent ED 
becomes more 
common with age. 
The first thing to do 
if you feel you have 
ED is head to your 
GP. It can be caused 
by one of a whole 
spectrum of issues, 
so clarifying with 
your GP will leave 
you feeling confident 

you’re on the best 
path. Alternatively, 
you can visit 
reputable sources 
like healthexpress. who can 
provide advice and 
treatment solutions. 
There’s usually no 
cause for worry. 

As causes can be 
mental or physical, 
treatment could be 
as simple as a chat 
with your partner 
or a change in diet. 
For more persistent 
cases though, 
there are always 
effective medications 
available.” ■ 

was better, too. It became more 
frequent and lasted longer.” 

While Michael, 30, is confident 
about his looks, he had his 
operation because he felt he 
lacked something downstairs. “It 
wasn’t small but it wasn’t big,” 
he explains. “Since having the 
procedure a year ago. I’ve met 
a lovely guy and the sex is more 
intense than before my op - and 
much more satisfying. Whether 
that’s because I’m more confident 
or because the op means the fat in 
my penis restricts blood flow and 
intensifies it. I’m not sure. 

“I have to go to the clinic 
every few months to have fat 
transferred but I don’t mind. I 
think the fat should eventually 
stay put and I’ll be left with 
a bigger manhood. No one 
knows I’ve had the op, not even 
my boyfriend, but I’ve put my 
insecurities to bed.” 

However, like all operations, 
penoplasty doesn’t come without 
its complications. “These include 
infection, bleeding, or blood 
clotting; however this occurs 
in less than 1% of patients and 
drains and heals spontaneously,” 
adds Dr Roberto. “In some cases 
with enlargement surgery, the 
shaft may be asymmetrical or 
lumps may occur due to the 
position of the fat. But gentle 
massage should normally resolve 
this problem. 

“Penoplasty is now a well 
established cosmetic procedure, 
having been performed for the last 
ten years. It’s safe, effective and, 
with no foreign material or implants 
introduced, complications are rare.” 

But should we stop becoming 
obsessed with a quick fix 
solution and tackle the root of 
penis envy instead? Professor 
Kevan Wylie, a sexual 
medicine consultant, says men 
worried about their cock size 
should consider talking to 
a health professional before 
experimenting with treatments. 

“Many men who worry 
about the size of their penis 
generally have overall body 
image issues,” he says. “They 
tend to focus their poor body 
image on their penis. Often, 
counselling can make a real 
difference by building self- 
esteem, correcting distorted 
views about body image and 
learning more about what 
makes people attractive.” 

Former British Association 
of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons 
(BAAPS) president and 
consultant plastic surgeon Nigel 
Mercer says penis enlargements 
are still at the more extreme 
end of the plastic surgery 
procedures. “They’re not 
procedures for the occasional 
plastic surgeon and few would 
be trained for them in the UK,” 
he explains. “It’s not a common 
request from patients and those 
requesting it will need careful 
counselling, and perhaps 
psychological evaluation. 

“Lipofilling may have more 
effect on a flaccid than an erect 
penis, it may need to be repeated 
and all the fat may not even 
take. Plus, if the fat is injected in 
the wrong place, it may cause 
scarring and that may cause the 
erection to bend. 

“Managing the patient’s 
expectations will be the key 
to their satisfaction with the 
outcome. I’d suggest that these 
qualify as extreme procedures 
and are NOT guaranteed to 
improve sexual performance 
or satisfaction. With the 
risks associated, it’s perhaps 
understandable that the 
operations aren’t mainstream.” 

But for those who’ve had the 
operation, they have no regrets. 
“Two years on, the girth has 
reduced but it’s still way bigger 
than before,” adds Paul. “I don’t 
regret having it done and I’m 
only a bit annoyed with myself 
for not getting it done sooner.” ■ 

56 GT 



Those with a full head of hair spend 
hundreds of pounds a year cutting, 
styling and primping it. But how do 
you perceive yourself when you’re 
gay, bald and living in a community 
that puts so much emphasis on 
looks? GT meets those who hate 
being hairless, those who embrace it 
and what you can do to prevent it 

“It was so gradual I barely noticed 

it at first,” recalls John Wallace, 

38. “1 was cutting my hair shorter 
and shorter anyway, so it was only 
when 1 tried to grow it longer that 
1 realised that it wasn’t going to 

John is one of the 40% of men who 
start losing their locks before the 
age of 35. And whether we love it or 
loathe it, almost all of us will have 
joined him by 60. 

But in the desperation to hold on to 
our youth, we’re polarised when it 
comes to losing our hair. Is balding 
bad or beautiful? 

John’s quite happy with his 
thinning mane, which he first 
noticed in his late 20s. “For such a 
paranoid gay, it never bothered me 
all that much,” he admits. “I’m quite 
concerned about my appearance, 
but 1 just went with the balding, 
possibly because 1 couldn’t really 
do anything about it. I’ve never felt 
unattractive because of it. 

“And it helps that the baldness 
actually seems to suit me. 1 also think 
it can look really nice on other guys 
too. I’ve not faced any prejudice from 
the gay community and I’m very 
aware of some guys loving the bald 
head and facial hair types.” 

As balding men are quick to point 
out, some of the world’s sexiest 
men are follically challenged. But 
for every Jason Statham, there’s a 
Michael Stipe. And for every man 
who’s happy to sport a closely 
cropped hairline, there’s one who 
looks in the mirror wishing he had 
hair again. 

Jim Ryan, 33, started losing his 
hair four years ago. But unlike John, 
he wasn’t prepared to embrace it 
so readily. “1 was concerned about 
it,” he admits. “My confidence was 
quite low anyway after my two-year 
relationship ended and the fact that 
my hair was falling out added to 
feelings of insecurity. 1 got quite low 
about it, mainly from a ‘will anyone 
find me attractive anymore?’ point 
of view. It was like the end of the 
world and for a while it stopped me 
from chatting to guys. 

“When 1 was younger, 1 was quite 
confident and would approach 
people. Now, unless 1 had quite a 
few glasses of wine inside me, 1 
don’t think 1 would ever make the 
first move on someone.” 

Jim made several attempts to 
treat and disguise his baldness, 
but to no avail. “1 kept my hair 
cut short, so people wouldn’t 
notice that 1 was losing it,” he 
recalls. “1 went through a phase 
of wearing a baseball cap; 1 tried 
caffeine shampoo for a year; a 
friend suggested 1 stop eating 
cheese so 1 tried that for a month, 
and the same friend suggested 1 
rub walnut oil into my head. After 
trying this for a few months - with 
no effect - 1 decided he was taking 
the piss and stopped. 

“I’m kind of getting used to it 
now. Someone once said that 1 
‘have a young face, but old hair,’ 
so I’m hoping my winning smile 
counteracts the solar panel. But 
being completely bald scares the 
crap out of me. If 1 had the money 


How much are you prepared 

to pay for a full head of hair? 

Dr Red 

at The Private Ciinic of Harle 

Uie treatments avaiiable 


£160 to £950 

The oldest way to 
disguise baldness 
won’t cure it, but if 
it’s convincing, it’s 
a quick fix solution. 
Hairpieces can be 
styled, permed, 
tinted, washed and 
Time taken: Two 
weeks to order. 

Dr Reddy says: 
“Quality has 
improved and some 
look very natural. 
However, toupees 
can slip out of place 
and thus give the 
game away. You 
can’t sleep or swim 
in one and they can 
also be quite hot 
and uncomfortable 
to wear. It’s the 
most expensive 
option when you 
factor in the lifetime 
costs of wearing 
a wig.” 

Hair in a can 


By spraying your 
bald bits, products 
like Restrand and 
Thickitcoats match 
each hair to give 
you added texture 
and thickness. 

It lasts until you 
shampoo it away, 
but one rainstorm 
and you’re busted. 
Time taken: 
Ten minutes. 

Dr Reddy says: 

“It’s a temporary 
solution that works 
better on darker 
hair types. But it 
can’t ‘fill in’ any 
areas where there 
isn’t already enough 
hair for the product 
to cling too. It’s 
unsuitable for a 
receding widow’s 
peak or a bald 


from £17.99 

This helps slow the 
rate of your hair loss 
and maintains the 
hair you do have. It 
can’t be relied upon 
to encourage re- 
growth though. 

Time taken: 

16 weeks. 

Dr Reddy says: 
“I’d recommend it to 
individuals who’re 
at stages one-two 
of hair loss - with 
seven being the 
most advanced. 
Once your hair 
loss has developed 
past this stage, it’s 
unlikely to have any 
visible impact.” 

and Foam 

from £7 

There are dozens 
of thickening 
shampoos designed 
to improve hair 
density. Ingredients 
are designed to 
increase follicles 

and thicken the 
shafts of existing 
hair to grow in 

Time taken: 
Two months. 

Dr Reddy says: 
“Unlikely to have 
any noticeable 
difference. If you 
wear your hair long, 
you may notice a 
slight improvement 
in hair texture after 
prolonged usage, 
but a shampoo 
certainly won’t help 
to delay hair loss 
or encourage any 
kind of regrowth. 
Choose one that’s 
SLS (Sodium Lauryl 
Sulphate) free. 
This chemical can 
slow the rate of hair 

Laser Therapy 

from £480 

Products like iGrow 
Hair Growth System 
uses low-level laser 
therapy technology, 
red laser and 
LED light diodes, 
which stimulate 
and energise cell 
activity. Wear it on 
your head every 
other day for up to 
25 minutes to re- 
energise unhealthy 
hair follicles and 
encourage them 
to grow. 

Time taken: 
From 16 weeks. 
Dr Reddy says: 

nft O 

I’d have a hair transplant without a 
moment’s hesitation.” 

According to a recent survey, 60% 
of hair loss sufferers would rather 
have more hair than money or 
friends. Almost half would spend 
their life savings to regain a full 
head of hair. And a third would give 
up sex if they could have a flowing 
mane again. 

Matthew Hodson, of gay men’s 
health charity GMFA, says we do 
feel more pressure to look good 
than straight men. “The concern 
about our physical appearance 
which drives some of us to the gym 
doesn’t necessarily make us happy. 
Data suggests almost half of gay and 
bisexual men worry about the way 
we look and wish we could think 
about it less. 

“For gay men, certainly there’s 
a lot of pressure on the scene, and 
from other gay men, to look and feel 
attractive. It’s always easy to focus 
on the things about yourself you 
don’t think are attractive. Personally 
I think a bald head is quite 
attractive; it’s very masculine, but if 
that’s not the look you want, that can 
be a blow to your esteem.” 

Why do we go bald? Here’s the 
science bit. Our hair is made in hair 
follicles - small pouches just under 
the skin that last three years before 
they’re shed, then a new hair grows. 
But it’s thought that with male pattern 
baldness, men’s follicles gradually 
become smaller than normal, so 
each hair becomes thinner than the 
last one. It grows for less time before 
eventually all that’s left is a thin 
stump of hair that doesn’t peek out of 
the skin’s surface. 

Fifteen years ago, the only 
affordable disguise for baldness 
was a hat or a wig. Sir Elton John 
made a career out of recycling 
songs and hairpieces. “I don’t have 
a good shaped head to be a bald 
man,” he admitted. “I look like 

“All that money and he’s still got 
hair like a dinner lady,” spat fellow 
singer Boy George. 

But since Elton’s heyday, the 
number of options available has 
dramatically increased. Now we can 
pop pills and use food supplements 
like Nourkrin to support the normal 
hair growth cycle, or even have a 
hair transplant. Or there’s JASON’s 
Thin-to-Thick Scalp Elixir which 
uses natural plant proteins to help 
strengthen fine, thinning hair and 
stimulates growth, while preventing 
future hair loss. 

If you have the money, you can 
take a more drastic and permanent 
route - like James Nesbitt and 
Wayne Rooney. Gay Dancing on 
Ice judge Jason Gardiner went 
under the scalpel for a £22,000 hair 
transplant. His operation was even 
posted on YouTube. “Everybody, 
from family to my closest friends, 
said that I looked great without 
hair,” he admitted. “But this hair 
transplant is not for anybody else, 
it is purely and simply because of 
the way I feel about myself. A year 
down the track, I can’t tell you how 
impressed everyone is, including 

Darren Doherty, 38, had a hair 
transplant in February 2013 at FUE 
Hair Clinics. Five months later, 
he could style it like anyone else. 

“I was 24 when my hair started 
receding,” he explains. “As a gay 
man, it affected my confidence 
and I’d get jealous of people with 
hair who could style it. And being 
bald made me feel older. I kept 
thinking about a transplant and - as 
it became more affordable - 1 saved 
up and had it done. 

“They shave your hair off and 
numb the area where they’re putting 
the hair in and where they’re taking 
the graft from. It took the best part 
of two days to complete - but it’s 
virtually painless. 

“Two years later and I’m still 
looking at it in the mirror - it looks 
amazing to have a proper hairline 
again. It wasn’t immediate - it 
grew, then fell out, then grew then 
fell out again. I was starting to 
panic but it’s normal and you could 

60 GT 


“I haven’t seen 
any convincing 
evidence that 
a laser helps 
to stimulate re- 

Scalp micro- 


Your scalp tattooed 
with tiny dots that 
look like stubble. 
There’s no invasive 
surgery and no 
scarring and while 
it wont encourage 
your hair to grow, 
it’ll make it look like 
you have a buzz 
cut. Unlike tattoo 
ink, it also keeps its 

Time taken: 
From two hours. 
Dr Reddy says: 
“This involves 
colouring the 
scalp to mimic 
short hair; the only 
hairstyle you could 
achieve is of a 
‘grade one’ shave. 
The pigment can 
fade overtime 
and therefore will 
require topping 
up. You should 
also consider the 
implications of 
choosing a specific 
colour - natural 
hair loses its 
pigment and turns 
grey over time.” 


£40 a month 

Propecia is a 

prescription only 
tablet. It reduces 
the amount of a 
hormone in the 
blood called DHT. 

usually continues 
for two years and 
in most cases there 
is a noticeable 
difference in hair 
thickness after five 

Time taken: 

About three 


Dr Reddy says: 

“It slows the hair 
loss process 
and I subscribe 
it regularly to 
patients. But once 
you stop taking it, 
your hair loss will 
quickly ‘catch up’ 
with where it would 
have got to without 
you ever taking 
the drug.” 


from £3 

Vitamin B 
increases hair 
growth, while iron 
helps reduce hair 
loss. Heart-healthy 
vitamin E also 
helps stimulate 
capillary growth, 
which allows more 
blood to flow to 
your scalp and 
makes your hair 
grow faster. 
Time taken: 
One month. 

Dr Reddy says: 
“There isn’t 
sufficient evidence 
to support the 
use of vitamins 
as a hair loss 

Heaithy diet 

from £1 

Hair is mainly 
made of protein so 
eat a protein-rich 
diet. Stick to leaner 
proteins such 
as fish, chicken, 
low-fat cheese, 
eggs, almonds, 
beans, and yogurt. 
Vitamin C improves 
the absorption 
of iron, so fruits 
such as oranges, 
strawberries and 
lemons help. And 
get zinc from red 
meats, poultry, 
nuts and oysters. 
Time taken: 
One month. 

Dr Reddy says: 
“There are many 

benefits to a 
healthy diet, but 
prevention of hair 
loss is not really 
one of them. 
Some evidence 
suggests a diet 
high in protein can 
make hair and 
nails stronger. But 
you won’t notice a 
radical difference 
to the rate of your 
hair loss.” 




This takes 
individual follicles 
out of the back and 
sides of the head 
which are then 
grafted onto the 
area where you’re 
balding. The ‘mini’ 
and ‘micro’ graft 
technique allows 
single hairs or a 
natural group of 
two or three hairs 
to be re-planted 
in the direction of 
your natural growth 

Time taken: 
Nine hours, 
then seven days 


Dr Reddy says: 
“This is the only 
option if you want a 
permanent, natural 
looking solution 
to your hair loss. 

Follicular unit 
extraction (FUE) 
procedure provides 
the most natural 
looking results 
without leaving 
any scarring. This 
isn’t a solution 
for anyone who is 
completely bald. 
You need to have 
enough ‘donor’ hair 
at the back of the 
head to transplant 
to receding or 
thinning areas.” ■ 


see it constantly growing. I feel 
like a different person since I’ve 
had it done.” 

Michael Psaltakis, managing 
director of FUE Hair Clinics, was so 
impressed with the hair transplant 
he had years ago, he started his 
own clinic. He had more than 100 
clients in his first year. 

“Men don’t know how easy and 
affordable it is, and it can have 
amazing results,” he says. “When 
you start losing your hair, it’s 
best to get treatment the earlier 
the better. And we have an equal 
number of gay men and straight 
men who come to us.” 

Some bald men have chosen 
more alternative measures. When 
gay French porn star Frangois 
Segat went bald in his twenties, he 
took the unusual option of tattooing 
his head - not to be confused with 
scalp micropigmentation. 

“It was extremely painful for me 
so we did it in two sessions over ten 
hours,” he recalls. “But it’s helped 
my modelling and porn career. If 1 
was doing porn without this tattoo 
1 wouldn’t have this career now - 1 
would lose my personality. But 1 
understand why people look at me 

The two most popular treatments 
for baldness are Propecia and 

Regaine. Propecia is taken in 
tablet form, while Regaine is 
rubbed into your scalp twice a 
day. Russell Jones, 27, began 
taking Propecia 18 months ago 
when he started losing his hair 
around the crown. “1 was totally 
freaked out,” he admits. “I’m way 
too young to start looking like my 
dad so 1 ordered Propecia from a 
legit online pharmacy. For about 
six weeks it didn’t seem to work. 1 
kept taking pictures of it with my 
phone to see if it was making any 

“Then after about two and a half 
months I started feeling more of 
a downy growth, and after eight 
months it looked almost back to 
the way it was. It’s a commitment 
having to save up for the tablets, 
order them and remember to take 
them. But they give me more self- 
confidence so they’re worth it.” 

“We’re all going to be affected by 
our personal appearance,” adds 
Matthew Hodson, of GMFA. “How 
much we choose to be defined by 
the way we look though is up to the 
individual. But if you’ve got a look 
that people are going to go crazy 
in lust after, well you might as well 
take advantage of it.” ■, 




62 GT 

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>■ • 


Why exactly do we get tattoos? 
According to the experts, gay men 
are particularly drawn to body art 
for a number of surprising reasons. 
But with an increasing number of 
us looking into expensive, painful 
and often dangerous removal 
procedures, is it time we stopped to 
think before we ink? 

Life long commitments can be 

hard, painful and filled with regret 

- and we’re not even talking about 
marrying our potential husbands. 
No, we’re talking about that other 
life-long commitment. We’re talking 
about tattoos. 

But in a day and age when deciding 
which phone contract to sign with 
involves an eternity of um-ing and 
ah-ing, why is permanently inking 
our skin becoming something of an 

The word ‘tattoo’ is consistently 
one of the most searched words on 
the web around the world. So much 
so, Google has stopped including it 
in their annual top ten. So it comes 
as little surprise that every year the 
percentage of people indulging in 
body art gets significantly higher 

- with a third of young people now 
boasting at least one example of 
permanent body art. 

But not everyone is happy with the 

In fact, polls show that more than 
a quarter of all people who gets 
tattoos eventually end up regretting 
them. And hating tribal tattoos from 
yesteryear has practically become 
an industry in itself, as people are 
making big money from our even 
bigger mistakes. 

Even the NHS came under fire a 
couple of years back, when it was 
revealed a whopping £203,499 
of tax payers money had been 
wasted lasering off unwanted 
tattoos in the UK since 2008. The 
Taxpayers’ Alliance blasted the 
reports, saying: “Body art is a 

personal choice. If people have 
second thoughts they should pay to 
have it removed themselves.” 

And these figures only account 
for the free NHS removals, which 
involve proving to a psychologist 
the tattoo is causing you severe 
distress. The number of people 
having highly expensive private 
removals, though difficult to 
estimate, would certainly be even 
more shocking. 

And it seems us gays have taken to 
tattooing more than most. 

Yes, when it comes to painful body 
art, gay culture was right there at 
the beginning, and we’re still in the 
thick of it now. 

Just check the tat stats - or tatistics, 
if you will. Harris’ telling study 
found gay men were twice as likely 
to get a tattoo than straight men. 
Could it be that we just naturally 
gravitate towards a man with big 
arms looking to cause us some 
discomfort for a few hours? 

Tattoo expert Professor Craig 
Jackson, head of psychology at 
Birmingham City University, thinks 
there’s more to it than that. 

“There are many reasons gay 
culture embraced and continues 
to embrace tattoos,” he tells GT. 

“For one thing it’s synonymous 
with working out, and wanting to 
enhance a toned physique - another 
behaviour gay men have always 
been linked to. 

“But initially it was adopted widely 
by gay culture before it became 
mainstream. It was often a way of 
showing you were in the same club. 


rThink before you ini 


[ 01 ] 

Will it affect my 

If the tattoo 
you’re wanting 
will potentially be 
visible to future 
employers, take into 
consideration your 
career path. 

Are you in an 
industry where a 
visible tattoo could 
hold you back? Do 
some research. You 
might be surprised. 

[ 02 ] 

Avoid names 

Johnny Depp 
famously had 
Winona Forever 
changed to Wino 
Forever, after 
splitting up with 
Winona Rider. 

We know how fickle 
even the most loving 
relationship can be, 
and breakups are 
hard enough without 
worrying about 
souvenirs of the skin 

[ 03 ] 

Research the 

If you knew how 
painful, expensive 
and not always 1 00% 

effective a tattoo 
removal is, would 
you still want it? 
Look up the info on 
which colours are 
easiest to remove, it 
may help you make 
a future disaster 
less... disastrous. 
Not to mention the 
cost. One session of 
removal treatment 
- which could be 
the first of countless 
sessions -can 
cost anywhere up 
to £300. The price 
at the end of the 
procedure of a 
particularly large 
tattoo could set you 
back thousands. 

[ 04 ] 


Perhaps, but that 
doesn’t mean it’s not 
worth looking into. 
Professor Craig 
says: “Why not speak 
to a counsellor? 
You have to live with 
this forever, there’s 
no harm in talking 
it over. 

“And if you looked 
into where the 
desire to get a tattoo 
came from, it might 
completely change 
your perspective.” ■ 

and forming a sense of identity, in 
a time before things were quite as 
liberal as they are now.” 

So according to the experts, it 
started as somewhat of a permanent 
sexual calling card. And Professor 
Craig believes the sexual 
connotations run deeper still, and 
that master-of-friskiness Freud 
would have plenty to say on it were 
he around today. 

“Freud would probably say 
tattooing has sexual links with the 
gay world,” says Jackson. “It’s very 
dominating, being tattooed, and the 
sexual roles can be mirrored in the 
process. There’s a top, a bottom, 
it’s very intimate and a lot of people 
find the experience arousing.” 

So it’s sexy. We get that. It’s in 
the league of things that shouldn’t 
be hot but are, along with smoking 
and grey jogging bottoms. But he 
also thinks there could be far more 
depressing links between body 
ink and us. 

“It’s almost a form of self-harm in 
some cases,” he says. “Self-harm 
soaks up negative feelings - and 
tattoos can too. It hurts, it leaves a 
mark and causes feelings of pride 
alongside a permanent commitment 
to the day it happened. 

“And self-harm is another 
behaviour found more often in 
the gay community, which can most 
likely be attributed to feelings of 
low self-esteem during an often 
difficult coming out period.” 

This reason, among others, is 
why Professor Craig believes that 
in extreme cases, the need to be 
tattooed should be recognised as a 
medical disorder. 

“Sometimes 1 think it should be 
treated as a compulsive disorder, 
yes,” he says. “1 wouldn’t say 
addiction, but it can definitely 
become unhealthy and dangerous 
when taken too far.” 

Similarly one of the UK’s leading 
tattoo artists, Louis Malloy - whose 
clients include gay pin up and 
all-round national treasure David 
Beckham - is also well aware of a 

darker side to tattoos. 

The Manchester based tattooist 
tells us: “It was really difficult 
around 1984, when HIV came out 
and everyone became terrified of 
catching it. 

“It’s hard to believe now, but many 
places refused to tattoo gay men 
because they were so sure it would 
spread the disease. 1 was one of 
the few people in Manchester who 
didn’t discriminate. I’d grown up 
around my mum’s friends who were 
gay and 1 was more educated. To 
me, people are people.” 

But even Louis, who lives for body 
art, admits many enter into it too 
lightly these days. 

“1 think there are many reasons 
more people are getting tattoos 
and often not thinking about it,” he 
says. “For starters, reality shows 
like London Ink publicised it. They 
opened new doors for the industry. 
And then with the explosion 
of the internet, and things like 
Instagram, it just made it so much 
more accessible. 

“Celebrities with tattoos started 
getting much more coverage in 
the media as well. And sure, the 
popularity is better for business, but 
people are getting them now without 
thinking - ‘Do 1 really want it?”’ 

Louis, however, takes his role as a 
tattoo artist seriously, as he believes 
everyone should. He even tried to 
convince his biggest client. Golden 
Balls himself, not to get his famous 
neck tattoo. 

“I’d advise anyone neck, face 
or hands - don’t do it,” he tells 
us. “1 spent two years trying to 
persuade David [Beckham] to 
not get the one on his neck, but 
eventually 1 gave in. 1 didn’t 
want him to do it. 1 said, ‘You’ll 
regret it.’ But he hasn’t had it 
removed, so he’s obviously still 
happy with it. 

“But at the end of the day, it’s 
different for him. He’s not going 
to be lining up at the Jobcentre, is 
he? So many people think that if 
they don’t like it, oh well, they can 

66 GT 




from Dalston, 
London, works 
in finance for 
American football 
league NFL 

He tells us: “I haven’t 
regretted them at 
all... Although the 
one on my back now 
is a bit ‘tramp stamp.’ 
It was a tribal tattoo 
on my lower back 
that I got about 15 
years ago. But what 
can I say? That was 
what everyone was 
getting at the time. I 
wouldn’t get it done 
now... But wouldn’t 
say I regret it. My 
current boyfriend 
actually loves the 
tribal one more than 
my other one. 

The other one is 
on my shoulder. 

It’s a Mexican day 
of the dead skull, 
surrounded by 
butterflies and cherry 

My shoulder tattoo 
was after a bad 
period in my life - my 
partner cheating, 
my grandfather and 
a friend dying of 
cancer. It symbolises 
the fragility of life 
and a celebration 
of death... Well, in 
my head it does! 

But for me they’re 
permanent. And 
even if I were to go 
off them in the future, 
which I doubt, they 
symbolise periods of 
my life, so I wouldn’t 
have them removed. 

I’ve specifically 
had them in places 
that I can easily 
cover if I wanted to. 

I would love to be 
able to have them 
on my forearms and 
neck, but despite 
working in media for 
the last 20 years, I 

don’t think it gives a 
good impression for 
someone in finance. 
My colleagues at 
work would probably 
not know that I have 
any. Well unless they 
stalked my Facebook 
pages!” ■ 

Brad Chalk 

owns his own 
tattoo parlour 
Funky Tattooist, 
tailored for 
gay men, in 

He has 12 tattoos - 
two are sleeves, he 
has two behind each 
ear and the rest are 
randomly around his 
body. He tells us: 
“I’ve never regretted 
any of my tattoos. 
They’re all personal 
to me and I love 

I think they might 
have had an effect 
on certain jobs 
had I gone down a 
different path, but I 
was always fine in 
the jobs I went for. 

I used to work in 
a nightclub and 
obviously there was 
no problem there, 
and now I own my 
own business that’s 
also never going to 
be an issue. 
Nowadays I don’t 
think too many 
people judge you 
for your tattoos in 
daily life, because 
so many people 
have them now 
it’s become more 

Anyone I meet, 
without a doubt asks 
me about it though, 
so I do end up doing 
a lot of explaining. 
But I don’t find it 
boring because I’m 
really passionate 
about them. It’s what 
I love.” ■ 

just get it removed. But they don’t 
realise what that in itself entails.” 

He advises: “First of all it isn’t 
quick. It can take years. And 
depending on the tattoo, some 
colours can never be removed 
and can also leave scars. I’ve had 
it - it’s painful. A tattoo is like a 
massage in comparison to the 
removal of it.” 

Louis also agrees with Prof Craig 
that when things go wrong there 
can be disastrous results. 

“There are people who don’t 
know when to stop,” he says. 
“Addiction is the wrong word, but 
1 would say compulsion.” 

But what negative aftermath 
can a visibly tattooed individual, 
who isn’t Becks, face in the real 
working world? Well, it’s bad 
news if you’ve grown up with lofty 
ambitions of working at Iceland 

“A lot of people don’t realise the 
doors that can be closed off for 
them if they have clearly visible 
tattoos,” Professor Craig says. “A 
lot of companies have a no tattoo 
policy. For example, Iceland don’t 
hire staff that have visible tattoos 
when clothed. 

“And the police force in many 
precincts are banned from having 
them on show. Many don’t think 
about these consequences, but 

I’m sure in the coming years 
we’ll see lots of legal cases 
against employers citing tattoo 

Jackson himself even admits to 
being prejudiced. 

“We can’t help it,” he says. 

“If 1 had six people before me 
wanting a job, and one was 
covered in tattoos, I’d probably 
subconsciously find a reason not 
to hire the tattooed applicant. 

It’s unfair, but it’s human nature. 
We expect certain things from 
certain people.” 

So are we blindly getting 
permanently inked without 
thinking of the obstacles it 
could bring our way? No issue 
is ever quite so black and white. 
Let’s not forget, tattoos can be 
responsible for some of the most 
creative and beautiful art we 
see around us on a day-to-day 
basis. And there are many of us 
out there who still cherish the 
tattoo we got 30 years ago. 

But just like deciding whether 
the man you’re with is a life long 
keeper - it’s not a decision to be 
made on a whim. Because if we 
were faced with a choice between 
two painful prospects, divorce 
or laser tattoo removal, we have 
to admit - there wouldn’t be that 
much in it. ■ 

68 GT 


•'because you are •'not alone 

© 0203 322 7075 

Leaving his lavish life in Downton 
Abbey to take on the crime- 
fighting mantle of Daredevil in 
Hell’s Kitchen, Charlie Cox tells 
GT about buffing up, being better 
than Ben Affleck and how he’s 
ready for life as a gay pin-up 

Getting in stunning shape to play 

Daredevil has been a revelation for 
Charlie Cox. The actor, who’d never 
been to a gym and whose idea of 
weight training was lifting a pint in 
his home town of London, buffed up 
for the Marvel TV series and now 
he’s hooked. 

“After doing it for eight months 
I’ve grown to love it,” 32-year-old 
Charlie tells us. “When you’re in 
the habit of going to the gym you 
feel great and I’ve gotten better 
at it. I used to go T wouldn’t even 
know how to sit on that thing or 
which way to face,’ but I’ve now got 
a sense of which machines do what, 
which body part they work, and I’ve 
got regimes if I just want to knock 
out a full-body 45 minute workout. 
There’s less anxiety about it now.” 

Tucking into a Toblerone and 
remarking, “I get to eat no fucking 
Toblerone when I’m doing the show,” 
Cox gives a smile that radiates 
charm and perfect dental work and 
adds: “Sol keep up exercise now 
because I really enjoy it. Also, if we 
DO do a second series, I don’t want 
to have to start from scratch.” 

Here’s hoping Daredevil - which 
is on Netflix with all the high 
production values you’d expect 
from the channel that’s brought us 
Orange is the New Black, Better Call 
Saul and House of Cards - gets a 
second series, because the first one 
is brilliant. It stars Cox, who we’ve 


had a soft spot for since he played 
Tristan Thorn in Stardust, as Matt 
Murdock aka Daredevil, a lawyer 
by day who fights crime at night on 
the dark and dingy streets of New 
York’s Hell’s Kitchen. 

He also takes his shirt off quite 
often, a breathtaking sight that 
the actor only had four weeks to 
prepare for. “Which, when you’ve 
never had a gym membership and 
never done weight training, isn’t an 
awful lot of time,” he grins. “Plus it 
wasn’t about losing weight, it was 
about gaining weight. I had to bulk 
up and put ON muscle.” 

Somewhere en route, Charlie 
also lost all his chest hair. On sexy 
display in Boardwalk Empire and 
poking out of his shirt today, it’s 
nowhere to be seen in Daredevil. 
“When I had that topless scene in 
Boardwalk Empire, some people 
thought I was wearing a sweater,” 
he says. 

Superheroes tend to be smooth 
shaven like Arrow and Thor, who 
flaunt their six-packs at every 
opportunity - both on screen and 
in publicity shots. Charlie reckons: 
“It’s like an advertisement for male 
strength, isn’t it? It’s symbolic 
of masculinity. The images 
are so iconic and I don’t think 
people associate body hair with 

Try telling that to bears and cubs, 
but we see his point. And we agree 

when he talks about the TV series 
being completely different, and by 
implication much better, than the 
2003 Ben Affleck movie. “Because 
we’re on Netflix we’ve been able to 
come up with a more adult-themed 
show with some quite gratuitous 
violence. It’s a risk because you 
don’t want to alienate the young kids, 
because it’s Marvel, but at the same 
time it suits the world of Daredevil.” 

The actor knew nothing about the 
superhero, who was created by Stan 
Lee and Bill Everett in the 1960s. 
Blinded by radioactivity as a kid, his 
senses become heightened and he 
gets into crime fighting to avenge 
his father’s murder, disguising 
himself in a blood red costume and 
horned mask. Growing up, Charlie 
Thomas Cox was into The Beano and 
The Dandy, not the Marvel Universe. 
“So it’s all completely new to me. 

In fact, when I got the audition I 
didn’t even know Daredevil was 
blind. I was completely ignorant, 
but in some ways it’s a blessing 
because I was able to begin the job 
with no preconceived ideas. It was 
only after Comic-Con and images 
were released and bloggers started 
weighing in that I began to feel 
the pressure. I’d become fond of 
Daredevil and Matt Murdock, and 
suddenly I realised how wide his 
appeal was.” 

The appeal extends, of course, 
to gay comic book fans. “It’s 

70 GT 



interesting,” Cox says when GT 
tells him about Marvel’s gay 
fanboys. “With a lot of comic 
book heroes there’s an element 
of secrecy. Not all of them are, for 
example, like Captain America - 
who wears a costume, but he’s not 
in disguise, whereas a lot of them 
wear a mask. There’s a sense of a 
secret there. All of my gay friends 
have described growing up with 
what felt like a secret.” 

A quick glance at Charlie’s 
filmography - Downton Abbey, the 
aforementioned Boardwalk Empire, 
The Theory Of Everything - shows 
the actor hasn’t done full-on action 
before. He makes up for that with 
Daredevil and, although he has 
a stunt double to handle trickier 
things like turning 900° in the 
air, he says: “1 do as much as I’m 
allowed to do.” 

The iconic red suit is there in the 
title sequence but not in the first few 
episodes. For a while he’s a man 
in black. “It’s like a running top, 
like Under Armour, skin tight and 
streamlined,” is how Cox describes 
his initial costume - and he isn’t at 
liberty to tell us when and how it’ll 
switch to red. 

“I’m not allowed to say,” he 
sighs. “All 1 can say is that it’ll be 
revealed in the first season.” So he’ll 
eventually shift things up a gear from 
Lycra to leather? “It’s not leather,” he 
laughs, towing the party line about 
not revealing any details. “What’s 
really great is that, within the world 
of the show, with the material used 
to construct the superhero costume, 
there’s a lot of discussion about it. It’s 
a very cool storyline actually. Often 
in the movies they don’t have time 
for that because they have to fit so 
much into two hours, whereas over 13 
hours of television there’s more time 
to explore all the elements to being a 

We push for more details. “Well, 
there’s a lot of discussion about 
why Daredevil should have a 
costume. What does it symbolize? 
What does it look like? How 

practical should it be? What is its 
functionality? 1 find all the stuff that 
surrounds the donning of the suit 
fascinating and 1 hope the fans will 
feel the same way.” 

Our heads are spinning as to just 
how Daredevil will fit into the Netflix 
strand of the Marvel Universe, what 
with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and 
Iron Fist getting their own shows 
before they all come together as The 
Defenders. Charlie insists he has 
no idea how it’ll all pan out either, 
or if indeed Daredevil will get a 
second series. “They haven’t told 
me anything. They reserve the right 
to make that decision at any point, 
but my great hope is that there’ll be 
a second series.” 

As for The Defenders, he reckons: 
“It seems to me that there’s an 
attempt to keep the characters 
relatively autonomous, so you meet 
them in their own worlds, then you 
meet them together. When 1 was a 
kid, when you thought about being a 
superhero or having a superpower, 
the exciting thing was the idea 
of being able to do something no 
one else could do. So it’s nice to 
have a show where, although we 
acknowledge the existence of other 
characters. Daredevil is special.” 

There’s that grin again. “But of 
course, as the Marvel Universe is 
famous for, there are Easter eggs 
and things are all intertwined - and 
hopefully the fans will relish that.” 

In the first episode, for example, 
there’s a scene that references the 
fact Hell’s Kitchen is now ripe for 
development because a bunch of 
superheroes destroyed it in a big 
fight - which obviously alludes to 
the spectacular battle at the end of 
the first Avengers movie. 

For the record, if the man 
playing Daredevil could have any 
superpower it’d be the ability to fly. 
He’s a bit embarrassed that it might 
be the obvious choice, but he’s 
hard-pressed to think of a better 
one. “1 mean, invisibility would be 
cool but the problem with that is the 
mind goes immediately to lesser 

instincts. You don’t think about 
using it to help people, you imagine 
being in places where you could see 
things you shouldn’t.” 

Like, perhaps, Scarlett Johansson 
slipping in or out of her Black Widow 
costume. That’s the Marvel character 
Charlie would most like to see pop 
up on Daredevil, alongside a certain 
web-slinger. “1 read a lovely issue 
of the comics where Matt Murdock is 
assigned to represent Daredevil in 
court, which of course is a physical 
impossibility. Daredevil turns up. 
Matt Murdock represents him and 
you’re like ‘How the hell is this 
happening?’ which dispels anyone’s 
suspicions that they’re the same 
person. It turns out Peter Parker put 
the suit on as a favour, so it’d be cool 
if Andrew Garfield popped up on the 
show sometime.” 

Unlikely, since Garfield has been 
dropped from the franchise - 
something that Charlie is genuinely 
shocked to hear. “Really? 1 really 
liked Andrew in that role. He’s 
a fantastic actor, as is Tobey 

Likewise Mr Cox, who like Andrew 
and Tobey before him has buffed 
himself up for superhero-dom. Is he 
braced for being a gay pin-up too? 
He beams. “Why not? I’ll take being 
a pin-up full-stop.” 

And he’s no stranger to gay 
roles, having done The Lover/ 

The Collection on stage - “Well, 
technically the character was 
bisexual, but 1 thought of him as 
gay” - and snogging Rob James- 
Collier in the first ever episode of 
Downton Abbey, when his lusty 
Duke of Crowborough got it on with 
Rob’s frisky footman. 

“The one line in everything I’ve 
ever done that friends quote back to 
me is when in that scene Rob says to 
me, ‘1 thought you loved me,’ and 1 
say, ‘1 do love you but one swallow 
doesn’t make a summer.’” He bursts 
out laughing. “They never let me 
forget that one.” ■ 

Series one of Marvel’s Daredevil is on Netflix 
from 10 April, ©daredevil 



“Oh, I’maay.” there, that’s it. Since no one else has come 
right out and asked hirn, that’s how Oily ^exander Mm 
chart to^HQQs/ award-winning electropop band du jour 
Years and Years describe s his sexuality. The cute 26-year- 
old popstar, who happens to be gay, also happens to talk ^ 
about it exclusively fw the very first time with GT ^ 


Let us briefly set the scene. 

Oily is in a hotel room, while 
Mikey from the band is getting his 
haircut and Emre is in the shower. 
And the elephant in the room that 
we’re acknowledging is Oily’s 
sexuality. “1 feel like it’s quite nice 

- nice is maybe the wrong word 

- but if people are interested, I’d 
think it’s totally fine to ask that 
question,” he tells us. 

“I’ve never meant to hide away or 
lie about that, but people appear 
afraid to ask it sometimes. And 
1 think if there were more of us 
having a discussion about it, it’d be 
less of a thing. 1 suppose it’s fine, 
because you can let the music do 
the talking, it’s more of an intimate 
personal vibe whatever anyone 
takes from the music, 1 guess...” 

Well, here’s the thing. They 
ended label mate Ellie Goulding’s 
reign at number one with their last 
single King and, like many of their 
songs, there’s a lyrical fixation with 
being used and abused. As the 
chorus goes, “1 was a King under 
your control, 1 wanna feel like 
you’ve let me go.” Oily laughs at 
our observation. 

“Sadomasochistic. Yeah, 1 
know what you mean. Most of 
what I’ve been writing about 
on this album has been about 
a handful of relationships. The 
way 1 externalised them through 
lyrics, 1 felt like they were slightly 
manipulative and 1 was always 
falling for the wrong person.” 

We’ve all been there. It’s 
what makes Years and Years go 
above and beyond the usual cute 
electropop band. He goes on. 

“1 got stuck in feeling this 
chaotic narrative of being used, 
which was the story 1 was trying to 
get out in song writing. But 1 also 
feel like maybe I’m drawn to the 
hysteria of love. You know? That 
kind of thing when something’s 
bad for you but it feels really 
good? That’s a juxtaposition 
that I’ve always been interested 
in - I’m not the only one! Lots of 

people are the same. But I’ve 
been really touched by how 
people seem to resonate with the 

He goes on to cite one of his 
biggest inspirations, Neil Tennant of 
Pet Shop Boys and the whole Crying 
at the Discoteque genre. 

“1 think if you can have a dance 
beat but a heartbreak lyric, that’s 
going to stay with you forever. 

Robyn is a great example. All the 
big pop songs, all the great classics 
are like that. I’m just licking the 
boots of all those great people.” 

And here’s where we get a bit 
personal. As someone who came 
of age in - let’s say the 90s - there 
simply weren’t any visible, happy, 
gay role models around. You had to 
go to literature to find gay couples 
- and most of those were wracked 
with guilt, struggling through the 
AIDS epidemic, or ended up killing 
themselves. So it makes sense to us 
that as an openly gay songwriter, 
you might be drawn to what Oily 
calls ‘chaotic narratives.’ 

“I’d probably agree with you in 
terms of not having a lot of obviously 
content role models in our culture 
of gay men,” he says. “There’s 
no difference in the actualities 
of loving someone, obviously it’s 
the same for everyone. 1 think it 
maybe came from being a bit of 
a lonely teenager, feeling like a 
misfit at school and certain people 
can identify with that. We have a 
long way to go with role models as 
well. It’d be nice to have a young, 
happy gay couple in the media. 1 
don’t really think there’s much of a 
difference, we’re all hurting in the 
same way.” 

A second elephant just entered 
the room. We ask Oily if he’s in a 

“1 am, yes.” 

So, Oily. You could be that happy 
gay couple in the media. . . 

“1 could, couldn’t 1? 1 was just 
saying that. 1 could have one, that 
could be it. Yeah.” 

He doesn’t offer any more, so we 


leave it at that. It’s hard enough 
being the new gay face of pop 
without having to have a new 
relationship splashed all over the 

“I’m only one third of Years and 
Years,” he continues, “I’m one gay 
third, but the other two aren’t and... 
I did think about if that sort of thing 
would be a problem, but I actually 
just don’t think it is. Because the 
others, Mike and Emre, couldn’t 
care less about what sexuality I 
am, and I’ve enough faith in people 
that they won’t give too much of 
a shit either about what sexuality 
everyone is. That’s just my attitude 
and I feel like if I believe that, I can 
materialise it, and it’ll be great,” he 
chuckles in his charmingly shy but 
assured manner. 

Things have changed since our 
day. Kids don’t buy into tribal 
identities based around music or 
sexuality in the same way. As Oily 
points out, the Y&Y fan base listens 
to Stromae, Arctic Monkeys, Kanye 
and Marina and the Diamonds in 
one playlist. Everything is more 
fluid, as Oily has seen for himself. 

“I was reading something about 
one girl on Instagram saying she 
was pansexual. She’s 16. 1 didn’t 
even know what pansexual meant 
when I was 16,1 had to look it 
up. You’re attracted to everyone 
regardless of gender identities, and 
I was like, ‘Wow, you don’t even see 
gender?!’ That’s amazing. I have 
faith in the younger generation.” 

As a band, they’re certainly 
down with the kids. Since winning 
the BBC Sound of 2015 they’ve 
made friends with the majority of 
the list and - along with the likes 
of Sam Smith and Clean Bandit 
- are leading the charge of a UK 
pop renaissance. In their own 
right. Years and Years have put 
in the hours, self-funding videos 
and releasing an entire album’s 
worth of singles and tracks - their 
genius cover of Blu Cantrell’s 
Breathe is more than worth a spin. 
With so much material out there. 

what surprises can their debut 
album Communion bring? 

“I don’t think people will be 
shocked, because the stuff that 
they’ll have heard is very much 
indicative of our sound. Having 
said that, we get really bored 
doing the same thing twice, so 
I feel like on each track on the 
album we’ve tried to reference 
something new. And I think 
we’ve done that with our singles 
- Take Shelter is a bit dancehall/ 
bashment. Desire is more house. 
King is a bit more synthpop, 
maybe a bit 80s - and we like to 
do that. Some tracks are more 
RnB, some are a bit more Massive 
Attack-y, ones a bit disco, some 
songs are a bit more slow and 

Woah there nelly. A Years and 
Years disco track? 

“Erm, well, ha - that’s to be 
decided yet. I don’t know if it’ll go 
on the album or on the deluxe, I 
don’t want to say unless it jinxes 
it. . .” And suddenly we can’t wait 
to get our mitts on their debut 
Communion all over again. We 
chew the cud about what a Years 
and Years first album will be like, 
and those lyrics come back up 
again. His bandmates give him most 
of the reigns for the whole thing. 

“They let me do it all. Sometimes 
they’ll be like, ‘Oooh, that’s a bit 
too sentimental, a bit too soppy 
that line,’ and I’ll change it. Unless 
I really like it. There’s maybe one 
song on the album that’s a slightly 
more positive love song, because 
I met someone and falling in love 
I was all, ‘I want to write a love 
song!’ It’s obviously still laced 
with fear and desperation and 
being crushed. I wrote this slightly 
positive lyric and they were like, 

‘Oh no, this is just not going to work 
for us.’ But I kept it in anyway.” 

Never mind Oily being loved up, 
we’re more than a little smitten 
with them. ■ 

Communion is released on 22 June,, ©yearsandyears 

76 GT 



It’s clear from just walking down the 
street that prejudice and discrimination 
are not an issue in Zurich. When you 
hear about the numerous special events 
held here, first and foremost the Zurich 
Pride Festival, it becomes even more 

Various local associations and societies 
actively work together and fight for 
the rights of and equality for the LGBT 
community. The city has the most 
vibrant assortment of late-night bars and 
clubs in Switzerland - countless parties 
and establishments create a nightlife that 
is more colorful than a rainbow. 

Zurich’s nightlife offers the LGBT 
community a broad and varied bouquet 
of clubs and parties. Numerous party 
promoters in various, changing locations 
guarantee a lively ambiance. Particularly 
popular are the events staged by the 
largest gay party organiser, Angels. 

They include the Kitsch Party, featuring 
bizarre decorations, and the White 
Party, where guests are required to wear 
white. More out-of-the-ordinary is the 
twice-yearly Gay Cruise on Lake Zurich, 
complete with dinner and DJ. 

The Zurich Pride Festival has 
happened annually since 2009. The 
three-day program features an opening 
and closing party, bars and food stands 
at the festival site, a series of concerts 
and shows, various parties, conferences 
on specific themes, and a parade 
through the inner city. Up to 30,000 
people take part in the festival every 

Since the year 2000, the “Warmer Mai” 
(Warm May), a cultural month, is held 
annually, focusing on LGBT themes in 
the fields of art and culture. 


5-31 May 2015 
City of Zurich 


8 -10 May 2015 

Club Heaven, Club X-TRA, Alte Kaserne 


19-20 June 2015 
Zurich City Center 


29 August 2015 
Zurich Lakeside 


13 June & 5 September 2015 
Lake Zurich, Burkliplatz 


i ^ 

1 w 

II f. 



It might sound tacky, but bodies 

come in all shapes and sizes. It 
can be hard to find the right pair of 
anything if you’re not happy with the 
state of your own body. While some 
might look amazing in a set of pants 
- see this issue’s style model, Game 
of Thrones star Reece Noi - others 
might still be a work in progress. 
And that’s OK. The best attribute 
to any man is self-determination, 
according to our feature designer 
duo Bodybound, and we happen to 
agree. Spring has sprung so soon 
that pale skin will be back on show, 
so step up or start the work out 
routine. You don’t have to have the 
perfect body, just be happy with the 
skin you’re in. Oprah moment over, 
now enjoy some hot boys in next to 
nothing as you chow down on that 
second bag of crisps. ■ 



Watch the 

Reece Noi 
takes a break 
from Westeros 
to pose in not- 
a-lot-of clothes 
for our style 
shoot. ■ 



From Gillette’s 
latest technology 
to Ben Cohen’s 
new range - 
the grooming 
you can’t live 
without. ■ 


Body double We chat to the design duo from London-based 
menswear brand Bodybound. Find out what the boys really 
think about clothes, fashion and the perfect body... 

Tell us about Bodybound? 

We’re obsessed by the future and 
technology, and take much of our 
inspiration from cinema. 

We try to use mechanical processes 
and technical innovation to 
interrogate the masculine aesthetic. 
Bodybound is a futuristic offering of 
modern luxury menswear. 

Working in fashion, do you 
feel under pressure to always 
look your best? It’s not that 
we aren’t aware of pressures 
to look a certain way, it’s that 
we’re more interested in the 
quality and appearance of our 
work. That’s what we channel all 
our energies into, all our blood 
sweat and tears. In everything 
that we do, when we design, 
style our looks, dress ourselves, 
we try to communicate 
something about our beliefs, 
what Bodybound stands for. 

We put a lot of pressure on 
ourselves to make Bodybound the 
best vehicle to portray our vision 
of modernity. 

What brands do you wear other 
than your own? We make a lot 
of our own clothes, sometimes as 
Bodybound, and sometimes just 
for ourselves. 

Often it’s the lot of designers 
to create beautiful and very 
expensive garments and never 
afford to wear them. 

We like Alexander McQueen, 
we appreciate skilled tailoring, 
and also the masculine volumes 
of Juun J. 

On the other hand, we also love 
our Nike trainers - what we wear is 
quite diverse. 

Describe your personal style? 

Sporty futurism. 

One essential thing every man 
should own regardless of his size? 

Best kept styling secret that you 
use in your own life? Buy quality. 
Who has the ideal Bodybound 
body? Chappie. ■, 

80 GT 


give us their picks for 
spring/summer in 
Mack, white and red 


• • • 



Jeans are a pretty safe bet regardless 

of shape - just ditch the dad jeans 
now. Double denim has always been 
a somewhat delicate issue, but when 
done right it has that so bad it’s good 
affect. Mix your washes, cuff your hems 
and throw in the careless young rebel 
attitude for full affect. M&S have had 
an extreme makeover across 70 denim 
departments in the UK, with ‘less is 
more’ making jean shopping easier 
than ever. New lines introduced in a 
range of styles, washes and cuts also 
welcome some fabric innovations with 
Tough Max Lycra, for the rough and 
tumble, StayNEW for the forever fresh 
look. Super Soft proving jeans can also 
feel luxurious and Stormwear to help 
with those inevitably less than sunny 
spring days. ■ 



82 GT 


One of the worst pick up lines 
has to be ‘‘Nice shoes,” but 
with these light loafers the 
options might be limited. If 
you don’t want to look like 
a floral explosion, try just a 
dash of bright and bold with 
these Polo by Ralph Lauren 
Hawaiian print skate shoes. 

A perfect shoe suits anybody 
anytime, so why not make 
yours a floral paradise? ■ 

Polo by Ralph Lauren, from £75, 




We pluckedReece from the side 
of Daenerys Targaryen, dressed 
him in some fancy ciobber and 
snapped away. And why? 
Because summer is coming... 



t this time of year - as it has been 

for the past five years - telling 
anyone you don’t watch Game of 
Thrones is tantamount to swearing 
fealty to UKIP. It’ll draw gasps. 
There’ll be outcries. But all that 
outrage is justified; the HBO show 
has steamrolled into the biggest 
thing on telly. And it’s only getting 
bigger and bigger each year, 
feasting on its own success like a 
perpetually hungry dragon. 

Someone who knows this all 
too well is 2 6 -year-old Reece 
Noi, a relative newcomer to the 
ancient world of direwolves, 
warring and half-dead ice men. 
Reece joined the show last year 
in a small appearance as a slave 
freed by hot-headed (wo)man of 
the common people Daenerys 
Targaryen [Emilia Clarke], but this 
year, he’s been brought back. It’s 
a pretty big deal, given the show 
thrives on having characters killed 
in the most grizzly ways possible, 
but Reece is ecstatic. 

“I’ll tell you how 1 knew it was 
big,” he tells GT, between posing 
in front of the camera for his shoot. 
“I’ve been acting for 15 years, in 
big shows.” He’s been on Grange 
Hill and Waterloo Road to name 
just two. “But never have 1 had 
the response from people I’ve 
had on Thrones. It’s a part that 
is, honestly, pretty small in the 
grand scale of things, but people 

1 haven’t heard from in years are 
telling me that they can’t believe 
I’m on it. It’s mad.” 

He admits he was “blink and 
miss” in series four, but his 
character - long-thought to be 
named Keyr but, he tells us, 
has been since given the name 
Mossador - gets something of a 
promotion. When GT got to watch 
the world premiere of series five’s 
first episode last month, Mossador 
was seen in Daenerys’ inner 
circle in the temple of Meereen, 
advising her on the former slave 
city’s tricky political matters. And 
as a native of Meereen, Mossador 
speaks almost exclusively in High 
Valyrian, one of the show’s many 
fictional languages. 

“When 1 got my script 1 thought 
1 was going to have a nervous 
breakdown,” he admits, laughing. 
“1 got it back and had this big 
monologue. There was loads. 
There’s a guy who writes [the 
language] and then we have a 
person on set, Jan, she helps 
us learn it. It’s slowed down, 
phonetically, to make it easier.” 

To prove the teaching method 
trumps anything Rosetta Stone 
could accomplish, Reece reels off 
an impressive - if indecipherable 
- Valyrian utterance that sounds 
pretty epic, especially here, in a 
basement in Soho. 

“Emilia [Clarke] came up to 
me once and said, ‘Are you 
actually Valyrian?’ 1 think she was 

On set, Reece is modelling floral 
prints, bright flashes of colour 
and the sort of vibrant clothes that 
could brighten up any gale-force 
Wednesday afternoon. In keeping 
with the theme, he also spends a lot 
of time shirtless, but anyone who 
has followed him on Twitter can 
attest that this is no bad thing. 





“I’m quite comfortable doing that 
sort of thing,” he says, smirking. “I 
do yoga and I usually practice it in 
next to nothing.” 

He’s been doing it for three 
years, and got addicted through 
hot yoga classes. “But now I do it 
myself. I’ll get up at Gam and do 
at least an hour. It’s completely 
changed my life, my focus, it’s 
made me feel so calm. I sleep well. 

I don’t drink anymore, either, and I 
can safely say I don’t think I’ll ever 
drink again.” 

Seeing him in the flesh - no pun 
intended - it’s hard to believe him 
when he says he doesn’t go to the 
gym; he’s got toned arms and a 
really impressive body. “I went to 
the gym for about two weeks when 
I was 18. It just wasn’t for me. This is 
all yoga and eating well. 

“I basically bumped into an actress 
friend of mine,” - Reece later tell us 
it’s actual Maxine Peake, which is 
amazing - “She looked so fresh- 
faced and healthy, and she told me 
she’d just been doing yoga. After 
that I knew I had to get involved.” 

The actor likes to keep details 
about his private life just that, but 
he’s happy to discuss everything 
from his time on set to his famous 
mates. “I was in Soho and ran into 
Chloe Sevigny recently, I know her 
from working on [transgender spy 
drama] Hit and Miss, but I haven’t 
seen her for ages. And she was just 
like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve just seen 
you in Game of Thrones!’ I couldn’t 
believe she’d noticed me 

“And I’m close to the Thrones lot. 
Obviously you only see the people 
you spend time with on set, so in 
Croatia I hung out a lot with Nathalie 
[Emmanuel, who plays former slave 
Missandei] and Jacob [Anderson, 
who plays eunuch super soldier 
Grey Worm]. We’d go for dinner, 
go to the beach, sometimes head 
to the ocean. It was just round the 
corner from the hotel. Croatia’s a 
beautiful place. I felt bad for the cast 
members filming in the freezing 
cold somewhere north!” 

While the dust is only just kicking 
up again with the new series of 
GoT, Reece is already busy on 
new projects. He features in Away, 
an intense, intelligent film set in 
Blackpool starring Timothy Spall 
and Juno Templeton. “She runs away 
from a violent boyfriend, she meets 
him, and they go on a little journey. 
My character’s... I almost said 
unsavoury, but no. He’s just lost.” 

After that is a film Reece describes 
as Sweeney Todd, but set in a kebab 
shop. “This guy goes around killing 
people and using their flesh in his 
kebabs. It’s another psychopath 
film! I rarely play someone nice and 
friendly. I read this and loved it, 
there’s a weird macabre humour to 
it, and it’s a beautiful story.” 

He cackles as he utters that last bit, 
fully aware of how it sounds. After 
the shoot, which was all vibrant and 
colourful, Reece has opted to stick 
to the basics. Skinny jeans, a big 
parka, a woolly hat. 

“I like to stick to what I know, but 
sometimes I look like an art student 
or something,” he admits. “It’s easy 
to stick to what you know.” 

Can he reveal if his Game of 
Thrones character will make it 
through the season? Of course 
he bloody can’t, although it’s not 
through lack of trying on our part. 

“I’d love to come back, who 
knows,” he teases. “But as an actor, 
you’re constantly trying to shed one 
thing and move on, try new things, 
develop. It’s win-win for me. But I’m 
enjoying playing someone good. 

My character’s a nice lad, he wants 
the right thing.” 

A good guy doing the right thing 
doesn’t sound like a natural fit for 
the morally twisted world of Game 
of Thrones, but Reece certainly 
knows how to stand out from the 
crowd, even if it is by being one of 
the most likeable guys on the telly. 
Luckily, it’s not the last you’ll be 
seeing of him. ■ 

Game of Thrones series five airs on Mondays, 
Sky Atlantic, from 13 April, ©gameofthrones, 

[ 05 / 15 ] 

RugB^Taancing, underwear, 
anti-bullying... And now grooming 
Hairy, beary icon Ben Cohen 
has launched his own range 
of grooming tools that are 
. almost as sleek and sexy as 
\ the man himself... ■ 

From £8.50, Boots-siores 


Grooming on the go 

Sister brand of L’Occitane, Le 
Convent Des Minimes have 
combined their most-loved 
products - including cologne, 
shower gel, soap and hand 
healer - for their Discovery 
Collection. And all in handy 
travel size bottles. ■ £10, 

92 GT 



Bulldogs, that is. Their 
new face scrub has eight 
essential oils, oat kernel, 
shea butter and olive 
seed to gently exfoliate 

the skin. ■ £4.99, at Tesco and Asda 

Hit you like a truck With just 1,000 limited 

edition numbered bottles available, we had 

to snap up this stunning unisex scent from 

Laboratory Perfumes. Tonka mixes pink 

room with the earthy vanilla of the tonka 

bean for a seriously sultry hit 

I From £60, 

On the ball 

The latest razor from 
Gillette includes FlexBall 
technology, responding 
to contours in order 
to seek out virtually 
every stray hair. First 
question -does this 
make manscaping 
easier? Answer - yes. 
Gillette Fusion ProGlide, 
£12 manual, £15 power, ■ 




Download on the 

V AppStore 

Download from 

Windows Store 

Ml urv 

Google play 

n # @ 





Did you know that The Rocky 
Horror Picture Show does 
indeed have a sequel? Well 
you should, because Shock 
Treatment is not only the 
continuation of the lives of Brad 
(asshole) and Janet (slut) - it’s 
an incredible piece of work 
that was years ahead of its time. 
And now it’s finally a stage 
show, as it comes to London 
for its world premiere. Back in 
1981 Richard O’Brien foresaw 
our obsession with reality 
shows and becoming celebrity 
- all set to a soundtrack that, 
dare we say it, eclipses its 
predecessor... ■ 

Shock Treatment is at The King’s 
Head Theatre, London, from 17 April, 

[ 97 ] 

Rae of Light 

“There’s no 
rule against 
who you fall 
in love with.” 
GT meets 
pop singer 
du jour Rae 
Morris. ■ 

[ 98 ] 

Since she’s 
been gone... 

Kelly Clarkson 
takes us 
through her 
cracking new 
album Piece 
by Piece, piece 
by piece. ■ 

[ 104 ] 

Mama, we 
iove you 

Gypsy hits the 
West End for 
the first time 
in 40 years - 
with Imelda 
Staunton, no 
less! ■ 



New indie boy band on the block Citizens! 
are one of those acts that sound like so 
nnany other people, that eventually we’ll just 
have to accept that they sound exactly like 
themselves. If we were leaning over an X 
Factor judging table, we’d tell them in our 
best Louis Walsh accent, “You’re like a young 
ELO!” Before going all Natalia Kills on them. 
Yet, for all the throwbacks, European Soul 
sounds fresh and modern. The majority of 
songs are about wooing girls in public spaces 
and have a Wham-like waft of tropicana funk, 
sounding like something that’s not a million 
miles away from Chromeo. The vocals are 
often in an alluringly androgynous falsetto, 
held up by kitsch backing vocals, edging into 
the realms of Glass Candy and Metronomy. 
There’s all number of soft electronics dropped 
in and we’re pretty sure there’s a lavish, 
porny 70s style keytar solo on more than one 
occasion. It’s joyously upbeat and there are 
times - on All I Want Is You, for instance - 
where you could be listening to Mika. Citizens! 
are the best vintage pop band we’ve heard in 
ages. And one of them has a moustache - so 
there’s some hope there, right? ■ ■ ■ hQ 

Lucy Spraggan 
We Are... Leaving 
behind some of 
the early ‘bitt-ah’ 
Kate Nash banter, 
Lucy Spraggan’s 
acoustic open 
mic night guitar 
anthems have gone 
up a level. The lead 
single Unsinkable 
and subsequent 
album has its 
sight set firmly 
on the Coldplay 
demographic, laced 
with piano and 
lighters aloft sing-a- 
longs. ■■■■■ 

Madeon Adventure 

An almost faultless 
debut of 8-bit 
influenced electro 
funk that takes on 
the basslines of 
Justice, the more 
listenable melodies 
of Crystal Castles 

and the grinning 
radio friendliness 
of Owl City. Over 
the top of all this 
are vocals with 
more soul than one 
hundred boybands 
melted down into 
one man. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

Mew +/- Mew 
have this canny 
trick of writing 
songs packed with 
roller coaster fake 
choruses, minor 
twists, nosedives 
into post-punk 
drumming and 
dense layers of 
threadbare synths 
and acoustic guitars. 
These prop up 
Mew’s uniquely 
angelic vocal 
harmonies. They’re 
their own amazing 
subcategory of indie. 

Zhala Zhala The freshest signing 
to the Robyn-run record label 
Konichiwa, Zhala’s debut album 
is a melting pot of Grimes-esque 
hallucinogenic electro, peppered with 
surprising influences and reference 
points. Tracks like last single Holy 
Bubbles have a Neneh Cherry flavour 
to them, and Aerobic Lambada 
borrows heavily from Blondie’s 
Rapture in terms of vocal delivery. 
She fits in perfectly with the Swedish 
pop landscape - Jenny Wilson 
springs to mind on I’m In Love - by 
nailing imperfect pop structures. 

In short, Zhala has revived the 
electronic and ambient mix of Kylie’s 
Impossible Princess era. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

Chungking Defender Brighton-bred 
Chungking’s 2007 album Stay Up 
Forever took quite a hammering in 
one quiet corner of the GT office way 
back when. With a hand from Richard 
X, they produced a sadly overlooked 
pop classic - but we will not forget. 
Years later and we’re offered up a 
less poppy album of equally easy to 
miss classics. They basically draw 
on the later career stylings of ABBA, 
bleeding into Moroder-inspired electro, 
spitting out the bubblegum elements 
of electro pop and replacing them with 
classier disco ones. Sprinkle in a few 
Kate Bush references for the breathy 
delivery and you’ve got a seductive 
package. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

96 GT 


R ae Morris is one of 
the most humble 
women in pop right 
now. “It might sound 
really disingenuous but to release 
an album in itself was something 
that was beyond my biggest 
expectations,” she tells us. “And 
then for it to be received so well 
was also a huge thing, so I’m 
really grateful.” 

Her debut album Unguarded is 
an unbroken string of alterno-pop 
hits. We gave it four stars on it’s 
release and would’ve gone the 
full 4.5 if we could cut stars in half. 
It took the Blackpool-born lass 
more than three years to make and 
finally give birth to. 

“I feel like a mum who’s let their 
kid go out into the world.” 

And what a well behaved kid it is, 
proudly creeping into the top ten in 
its first week. Rae initially went into 
songwriting with nothing but her 
piano, but she’s cross-pollinated 
all of this with collaborations 
with Fryars and dabbling into 
electronics, much like her 
appearance on Clean Bandit’s 
debut - another prime example 
of classical string arrangements 
mixed into cutting edge pop. 

Her last single Love Again is 
possibly her most upbeat song on 
an album that enjoys writhing in 
the throes and woes of romantic 

“When I first started writing it 
was very easy to use songwriting 
as a tool to get out my emotions as a 
diary really,” Rae explains. “I find 
it very easy to write about deeply 
personal emotions - and they’re 
always usually quite dark. But I 
think by the end of the recording 
process I realised I was really 
happy and having this incredible 
time, and Love Again was a really 
happy time in my life.” 

It shows in the way Rae laughs, 
and the way she’s so calm and 
open to discuss anything. She 
spoke about her relationship with 
a woman to The Independent and 

we love that she doesn’t feel 
the need to buy into a specific 
sexual identity. A bit rich for a gay 
magazine, possibly, but life would 
certainly be easier for everyone 
if same-sex relationships weren’t 
still an eyebrow raiser. 

“I’m cautious because people can 
define you for that and I think it’s 
very important for young people to 
know that it really doesn’t matter, 
human beings are human beings, 
and I want people to know that there 
doesn’t have to be a boundary, 
there doesn’t have to be a rule 
against who you can fall in love with 
and who you can’t fall in love with.” 

Exactly. We’ve spoken to new 
acts who won’t talk about their 
sexuality full stop, and it’s a little 
sad in this day and age. 

“If I met someone I wouldn’t care 
if they were gay or not gay or male 
or female. There’s no reason to 
even really care about it. I just want 

people to know me for my music, 
and if they want to know about that 
as well, then it’s totally fine.” 

But people are always interested 
- and it’s even inspired a few 
hardcore Morris fans. 

“I did have one experience with 
a girl who came up to me after the 
show and she said ‘Oh, I noticed 
that you say “she” sometimes 
in the lyrics.’ And in the earlier 
songs there is that. She said, ‘Can 
you just tell me? I feel strange, 

I want to know more.’ I felt like 
she really needed to know that it 
was cool. I felt that was a really 
important moment. And if there 
was any way that what I went 
through could help her with what 
she’s going through, then that’s 
all I’d ever want from my music. 
That’s the point of music, isn’t it?” 
We couldn’t agree more. ■ 

Rae Morris’ debut album Unguarded is out 
now,, ©raemorrismusic 


The original 
American Idol 
has been at it for 
13 years, has 13 
tattoos and has 
now unleashed 
her sixth studio 
album Piece by 
Piece. It’s an 
eclectic, modem 
pop masterpiece 
- and gives GT the 
perfect excuse to 
get to grips with 
the pieces of the 
puzzle that make 
up Kelly Clarkson 
all over again 

We’re in the presidential suite of 

Kelly Clarkson’s UK record label 
and she’s recycling a teabag to see 
her through our lengthy chat about 
her latest record. She’s had more 
hits that she can keep track of - “I’ll 
be sitting somewhere and a song 
will come on and I’m like ‘That’s me, 
stop singing!”’ - and her new album 
is not short of bangers nor ballads. 

Our personal favourite is Good 
Goes The Bye, which sounds like all 
the best bits of Taylor Swift’s 1989 
in one track. Kelly understandably 
says ‘1 love that song’ to practically 
every track we bring up, but she 
says of the last track, “It reminds 
me of old school Eurythmics, a 
little bit like Annie Lennox.” There 
are some indie rock moments that 
sounds like The Killers with Dance 
With Me, which to her ears is “a 
little bit like David Bowie meets 
ABBA.” And then there are some 
curve balls like Take You High, 
which sound like no Clarkson song 
we’ve ever heard before. 

“1 love it because it sounds trippy. 
That was the one song where 1 kept 
going, ‘Uh-uh, 1 want weirder. 1 

want trippy orchestral elements and 
sampled voices doing dark weird 
stuff.’ It feels like you’re flying. Or 
falling. Either one.” 

The other surprise track for us was 
Someone, where Kelly sings she’s 
“sorry I’m not sorry” for “saying all 
those shitty things.” We find it quite 
hard to imagine Kelly Clarkson 
saying shitty things. 

“Oh, 1 don’t find it hard,” she 
laughs. “1 had fun. Sometimes 
people send songs and it’s the 
typical straight up Since U Been 
Gone #4, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God 
this is going to be terrible.’ And so 
1 listened to [Someone] laying in 
bed with my husband. We were so 
quiet and both looked at eachother 
and 1 was like, ‘This is the most 
poetic thing ever.’ It’s so pretty and 
dark and truthful and everyone 
feels that.” There’s, to wheel out 
a much used phrase, something 
for everyone on this album. And 
of course, no modern pop album 
is complete these days without 
a Sia co-writing credit. Piece By 
Piece has two, including the single 

“1 think the thing that’s similar 
about her and myself as writers is 
we’re both about empowerment - 
and that’s what 1 loved about that 
song.” She was sent the song that 
was written by her producer Jesse 
Shatkin and Sia just as her own 
album was about to be finished. 

“1 called him right back and was 
like, ‘You’re an asshole!’ ‘Cos this is 
really good and this means you’re 
gonna have to come into town and 
record it. 1 was recovering from 
surgery,” after her pregnancy, 
which she’s talked at length about in 
other interviews - and so we gave it 
a wide berth. 

“So that’s why 1 was like, ‘Arrgh!’ 
But anyway, it was great. It sounds 
like Stronger on steroids. That’s 
my take.” 

Despite calling her album Piece 
by Piece, it’s got nothing to do with 
jigsaw puzzles - though the deluxe 
box set comes with something 

resembling one. We still end up 
chatting about our secret pastime. 

“You know what 1 love? 1 love a 
mindless arts and crafts project. 1 
just love sitting down, putting some 
music on, drinking a glass of wine. 
I’m a puzzle girl as well.” 

Clarkson even has a jigsaw tattoo 
she had done in Amsterdam. 

“How it is on me is, it’s like you’ve 
removed the top layer of me and 
you can see inside,” she says, “so 
inside the puzzle piece is this little 
tornado with a golden brick road 
and a hot air balloon, a kind of 
Wizard of Oz theme.” 

It’s one of the many times we’ve 
ended up saying ‘amazing’ to 
Kelly Clarkson. 

“It’s like you peek inside. It’s a 
very dark tattoo actually, it was a 
childhood thing 1 loved but also it 
worked for my life at the time. 1 feel 
like when 1 got this tattoo, 1 don’t 
even know how many years ago, 1 
felt no matter how hard 1 clicked 1 
just couldn’t find a home. And by 
home, 1 just mean I’ve always longed 
for a family. A solid family foundation 
and 1 just hadn’t had that. 

“Well, 1 guess if you get tattoos 
they just come true! ‘Cos 1 got one, 

1 got three kids and a husband. 

So apparently 1 have a genie 

Even if Kelly can’t help us click 
our own heels - “Where do you find 
great men?! 1 stayed really close to 
home, he’s my manager’s son.” - she 
did bring the house down the other 
month with an intimate gig in a gay 
bar in London. “Most amazing time 
ever,” is how she put it. 

“1 mean, it was the perfect thing. 1 
love the intimacy factor of anything 
like that.” 

The first single off her latest 
album. Heartbeat Song, hadn’t even 
come out at that point. 

“It was so weird, everybody 
knew the words. 1 was on stage 
shocked and 1 kept thinking, ‘Am 
1 hearing the feedback bouncing 
back?’ And then 1 was watching 
everyone’s mouths move and it 


was just the most remarkable 
thing. To have that many people 
crammed in and having such an 
awesome time, singing every 
word. And it was so hot it was like 
a sauna, but it was great.” 

Of course, the video for that 
song features a few of our own, 
which Kelly discovered during 
a radio interview in her adopted 
hometown of the last eight years, 
Nashville, Tennessee. 

“He didn’t know that his 
boyfriend was going to propose to 
him. No one knew, so he was kinda 
confused in the video because 
he was going, Ts this real? Or for 
the video?’ It was just the most 
amazing thing to capture that live, 
and them embracing and that kiss, 
that was real.” 

It is a bit of a statement to put that 
in your video, we try to argue. 

“It’s funny, we didn’t actually 
mean to do it as a statement 
because I think in the artistic 
community we’re so far past 
that. Equal rights is a no brainer. 

It’s almost like we’re in some 
bubble. All of a sudden I’ll be in 
an interview and someone will say 
like, ‘Oh, that’s quite statement,’ 
and I’ll be like, ‘Was it?!”’ 

We just think it’s great that 
someone with such a platform as 
Kelly Clarkson is happy to throw 
a gay couple in her video without 
a second thought and openly 
acknowledge and embrace her gay 
fans. Surely Beyonce has the memo 
by now? Anyway, Kelly doesn’t 
think she’s special for it, and that’s 
great too. 

“I think a lot of people are like, 
‘Screw you! I’m gonna put this 
in my video because this is life. 
Accept it or go live on Mars.’ I’m 
tired of talking about it. You know 
what I’m saying? I’m tired of it even 
being an issue, because it’s silly. 
Everyone should have equal rights, 
that’s it. Hello!” 

Hello indeed. ■ 

Piece by Piece is out now,, 




Twin Shadow is the nom de plume of 
George Lewis Jr - a fringed leather jacket 
fan and the new favourite poster-boy who’s 
dominating our playlists. On the one hand, 
he has this trendy and dramatic edge to his 
work, but really he’s a pop boy at heart and 
this secretly leaks out in unusual places 
throughout his mesmerising third album 
Eclipse. There are obvious tracks like 
When The Lights Turn Out, which would 
be a mega-credible Eurovision entry or 
an incredible Rihanna song. Then there’s 
Old Love, New Love which will sound 
familiar to a few gamers - having appeared 
in Grand Theft Auto V - and it’s one of 
the album’s hands-in-the-air moments, 
throwing down some house piano and an 
oh-oh-oh sing-a-long boyband chorus. But 
even in Locked and Loaded there’s some 
stadium rocking U2 vibe, while Watch Me 
Go could hold its own on a bleak version 
of Robyn’s Body Talk. Twin Shadow is 
entrancing in whatever musical stance he’s 
taking and we reckon there’s not a pop 
snob out there who won’t fall for Eclipse. ■ 

Twin Shadow’s album Eclipse is out 18 May, ©twinshadow 

100 GT 



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Sat 23 May Bournemouth BIC 

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Tue 26 May Ipswich Regent 

Wed 27 May York Barbican 

Fri 29 May Blackpool Opera House 

Sat 30 May Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 

Sun 31 May Brighton Dome 

Tue 02 June Edinburgh Playhouse 

Thu 04 June Glasgow Clyde Auditorium 

Sat 06 June Bimiingham Symphony Hall 

Mon 08 June Gateshead Sage 

Wed 10 June Leicester De Montfort Hall 

Fri 12 June Cambridge Com Exchange 

Sat 13 June Guildford G Live 

Mon 15 June Oxford New Theatre 


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Mama Rose is back to tread the boards in London. 
This time, it’s Imeida’s turn to show why the Queen 
of Gypsies isn’t a reguiar mom, she’s a cool mom... 

Don’t go calling Imelda Staunton 

a national treasure or she might give 
you a withering Dolores Umbridge 
look and punish you accordingly. “1 
think it’s an overused term,” says 
this most beloved of British thesps. 
“You can say it about Alan Bennett 
but you can’t say it about me.” 

That’s that then, though GT begs to 
differ. Imeida’s been in the business 
for nearly four decades and she’s 
brilliant in everything she does 
- be it her Oscar-nominated turn 
as loveable backstreet abortionist 
Vera Drake in Mike Leigh’s film of 
the same name, the aforementioned 
Defence Against the Dark Arts 
teacher in two Harry Potter films, 
or that big belter Mama Rose in 
Gypsy, an ovations-every-night 
performance she’s brought to the 
West End after a sell-out run in 
Chichester last year. 

This pushiest of showbiz mums - 
for whom everything most certainly 
doesn’t come up roses as she tries 
desperately to make successes of 
her two daughters, only to see the 
second one succeed and force her 
into the background - has been 
played by everyone from Ethel 
Merman to Patti LuPone via Angela 
Lansbury and Tyne Daly. 

Mama Rose is, of course, something 
of a gay icon. Though if you ask 
Imelda why that is, she’s amusingly 
flummoxed. “1 don’t bloody know,” 
says the 59-year-old actress. “Why 
do you think it is? Come on!” 

For all the obvious reasons: She’s 
a strong, feisty character who takes 
no nonsense from no man, never 
lives life at half-measures and can 
sure belt out a tune. “But it covers a 
lot of bases with a lot of people,” is 
Imeida’s take on the classic musical, 
“whether you’re gay, a mother, a kid 
who wants to go into the business. 

It works on many levels. It isn’t just 

‘Ooh, funny showbiz mum.’” She 
laughs. “But 1 don’t care who comes 
to see it. I’m just grateful when 
anyone comes.” 

After her brilliant turn as the 
villainous pie-making Mrs Lovett 
in Sweeney Todd a few years back, 
if anyone can put bums on musical 
theatre seats it’s Imelda Staunton. 

It’s also in musical theatre that the 
convent-schooled, RADA-trained 
Londoner got her big break when, 
after six years touring the country 
in rep, she did Guys and Dolls at the 
National Theatre. 

She’s been doing amazing work on 
stage and screen ever since, with 
Vera Drake earning her numerous 
awards - though not the elusive 
Oscar - and Dolores Umbridge in 
Harry Potter and the Order of the 
Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows: 
Part 1 being the role she most gets 
recognised for. “Families see films 
like that, so you’ve got three or four 
people seeing them rather than just 
one person seeing Vera Drake,” she 

Just as she views Mama Rose as 
so much more than “funny showbiz 
mum”, she reckons there’s a lot more 
to Dolores than her faux Chanel 
suits. “That role was more serious 
than even 1 thought it was,” she says 
of the character she played to scarily 
clipped perfection. “It wasn’t just 
‘Ooh, silly funny lady in pink.’ She’s 
a pretty dangerous woman but yes, 
in fabulous outfits. She was pretty 
horrible, but it was wonderful to 
have that amount of power and that 
amount of pink wool.” 

Imelda jokes about terrorising her 
young co-stars. “1 made their lives 
a misery,” she laughs. “1 didn’t, of 
course, and what a nice bunch of 
kids they all were, with their feet on 
the ground, working hard year in 
and year out. All 1 did was swan in 

and out again.” 

Did she get to keep any of those 
fabulous outfits? She squeals in 
mock horror. “Did 1 keep them? 

Are you out of your mind?” But 
it’s not unknown for actors to take 
home keepsakes from movie 
sets, is it? “Yes, but not from 
Harry Potter, baby. You don’t get 
anything off that set.” 

Imelda was considerably dowdier 
in last year’s Pride, where she 
played Hefina Headon - one of the 
Welsh villagers pushing for the 
alliance between miners and gay 
and lesbian activists in a true story 
she didn’t hesitate to help tell on 
screen. “It’s a story that, my God, 
we need now more than ever, about 
people helping each other and about 
tolerance. You couldn’t have gotten 
two more opposite factions of society 
who were prepared to stick their 
necks out and help someone else.” 

There’s a very funny scene in the 
film where Headon and her gal 
pals hit a gay club. Has Imelda ever 
popped into one herself? “Years 
ago, yes,” she says. “1 went to 
Heaven. Marvellous! 1 haven’t been 
to loads of gay clubs but they know 
how to have a good time.” 

The ballsy battle-axe of a 
character, who sadly died just as 
filming began, must have been 
fun to play, but that’s not why the 
actress signed on. “Having fun with 
something isn’t high on my agenda. 
Making it right and making it true 
is top of my agenda. 1 wanted to 
uphold her reputation, which was 
enormous and she was held with 
such huge affection.” 

As indeed is Imelda. And 
by none other than Stephen 
Sondheim, Gypsy’s lyricist and 
Sweeney Todd’s writer-composer, 
who saw her in the latter and told 
her she HAD to play Rose. “That 

102 GT 



made me a bit anxious. I said ‘Do 
I? Really?’ 1 was a bit frightened 
but 1 thought, ‘He’s asked me so 
what am 1 gonna do? Refuse? No.’” 

It is, she admits, an exhausting 
show to do. “You don’t have a 
life,” she sighs. And the biggest 
challenge? “All of it! Everything 
is challenging and everything is 
a nightmare. There’s no let up and 
that’s why it’s so demanding, because 
when you’re not singing you’re 
barking at someone. There aren’t 
many quiet moments or a point where 
you go ‘This is easy.’ It’s full on.” 

And how is it getting your tongue 
around those tricky Sondheim 
lyrics? “It’s so satisfying because 
it’s so difficult, but it’s just speeches 
to a different tune. He says himself 
he likes actors to do his work. 1 can 
always tell when a singer is listening 
to his or her own voice and there’s 
nothing more boring. You just have 
to tell the story.” 

she’s not in 
not like 
look him in 
work, and 
and other 
is enormous, so it’s 
in his company.” 
notoriously hands-on 

will doubtless be there 
on opening night and Staunton 
intends to give the show her all 
that night, and at each and every 
performance. Leading her to joke 
that once the run is over: “I’ll be 
going into rehab, obviously. I’ll be 
in traction. I’ll be a husk.” 

Her usual post-show ritual is 
home, a cuppa and bed, but won’t 
she be tempted to pop into the 
Savoy’s American Bar - which over 
the years has hosted the likes of 
Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Audrey 
Hepburn and Judy Garland - to soak 
in some of that cocktail-drenched 
history? Imelda laughs. “Not for 
me, baby. Not unless they serve 
chamomile tea.” ■ 

Gypsy is at the Savoy Theatre, London., ©gypsymusicalldn 


[the list] 

This issue’s all about the body, so what finer 
time to relive some of cinema’s maddest and 

most jaw-dropping on-screen physical transformations... 

[01] Christian Bale The Machinist Christian Bale is an attractive, 
stocky and consistently imposing man. Which is why his decimated 
transformation into an emaciated machinist - losing 621bs in the 
process - shocked all the harder. ■ 

[02] Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler Both you and our own libido 
thought we’d be talking about Jake’s bench bulk-up for Prince of 
Persia. But it’s his weight loss for Nightcrawler that helped shape one 
of his best performances yet. And for the record, we still would. ■ 

[03] Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club Once the poster 
boy for the rom-com action man six pack, McConaughey lost pounds 
but won gongs aplenty for his turn as an AlDS-sufferer. ■ 

[04] Charlize Theron Monster It’s not like she gained or shed 
hundreds of pounds, but Theron - and her makeup team - should 
be commended for a physical transformation that proved she was 
much, much more than a pretty face. ■ 

[05] Chris Pratt Guardians of the Gaiaxy Millions loved Pratt’s 
chubby jokester in Parks and Recreation even before he went 
full leading man on us, which is why his chiselled, ripped look in 
Guardians was all the more bewildering/arousing. ■ 

whu wloVe cafJlfee cafeef cor/Jehach 

Trusrus when we 

say that even WE 
were surprised by 
how entertainingly 
Keanu Reeves 
resurrects his flailing 
career with this 
month’s John Wick. 
Especially as, while 
we love a good 
comeback, so many 
of them hinge on 
Oscar-baiting super- 

turns. From Matthew 
himself from 
walking six pack to 
drama-fiend, to 
Ben Affleck’s 
resurgence as an 
actor/director, the 
surefire route to 

critical acclaim is 
taking on a weighty 
topic or two. But it’s 
turns like Reeves’ 
that we really 
adore - actors who 
think they have so 
little left to lose 
that they embrace 
the ridiculous with 
a self-knowing 
abandon and 
kickstart their 

cinematic CV in a 
‘fuck it’ way that’s 
as much a win for 
us as them. Robert 
Downey Jr’s Iron 
Man, Neil Patrick 
Harris’ demonic 
ecstasy fiend in 
Harold and Kumar 
and now Reeves’ 
ridiculous action 
hero in John Wick.. 
We salute you. ■ 

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 
Netflix Fans of funny women, Tina 
Fey and 30 Rock should definitely 
tune into Netflix’s newest original 
comedy, a broad and ridiculous 
sitcom with a killer conceit - a woman 
is reintroduced to the modern world 
after spending 15 years underground 
in a doomsday cult. Silliness ensues. 
Not quite as clever as it hopes to 
be, it’s still another ‘win’ on Netflix’s 
increasingly quality line-up of original 
programming. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

The Hobbit Trilogy Blu-ray The 

SOOish page book that somehow 
became a seven hour (plus!) movie 
trilogy never managed to reach The 
Lord of the Rings’ blend of compelling 
characterisation and jaw-dropping 
spectacle, but it’s undeniably fine 
blockbuster movie-making and an 
enjoyably bombastic fantasy epic 
for those craving a return to Middle 
Earth. The movies are all here but the 
die-hards should wait for the bonus- 
stuffed extended editions. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

Cucumber/Banana DVD Russell 
T Davies’ return to gay drama was 
always going to come with a certain 
level of fevered expectation. While 
Cucumber and Banana never 
matched the heights or had quite 
the same impact of Queer as Folk, it 
was never less than unpredictable. 
Banana was arguably more enjoyable, 
but as Cucumber progressed, it 
cemented Davies’ knack for the art 
of being able to grab you by the feels 
despite, or because of, its frustratingly 
flawed but never less than magnetic 
characters. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

Bloodline Netflix The creative brain 
trust behind Damages reunite for a 
compelling thriller revolving around 
the Rayburn family and the high-wire 
tensions threatening to destroy the 
seeming idyll of their Florida Keys 
life. With a gobsmackingly solid 
cast and enough twists to punctuate 
the slow-burn build, it’s a perfect 
accompaniment to Netflix’s other 
binge-worthy dramas. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

104 GT 



It’s a matter of cinematic, natural and 
widespread sexual law that any movie involving 
Ryan Gosling deserves at least your fleeting 
attention. But what about a Ryan Gosling film 
without any Gosling in it? Gosling’s directorial 
debut is a head-scratcher for many reasons; 
esoteric, wilfully obtuse and never less than 
intriguing, it’s the definition of ‘cult’ - not 
something you’d immediately expect from The 
Notebook’s swoonsome dreamboat. 

The plot, what there is of it, concerns itself 
with the family of single mother Billy (Christina 
Hendricks), her son Bones (lain De Caestecker) 
and their attempts to escape from a life as 
dilapidated as the city they live in, and the 
numerous menacing personalities that swirl 
around them - notably skinhead psycho Bully 
(an entertainingly against-type Matt Smith) and 
fetish club owner Dave (Ben Mendelsohn). 

A dark, twisted and bonkers urban fairytale, 
it’s full of disturbing imagery, an unsettling 
undercurrent and homages to pretty much 
every director Gosling’s a fan of - Cianfrance, 
Lynch, Refn and more are all visible on-screen, 
a comparison that’s both a blessing and curse 
- Gosling’s own directorial identity is somewhat 
submerged. As bold as it is mad. ■ ■ ■ □□ 

Hidden Away 
(A Escondidas) 
Cinema A heady 
melange of heavy 
themes - poverty, 
racism, crime, 
homophobia - are 
given emotional 
relief in this 
affecting tale of 
forbidden teenage 
love, as an 
illegal Moroccan 
immigrant and 
Spanish schoolboy 
fall in love against 
the odds. A strong 
indie musical 
through line lifts the 
muted emotional 
exchanges to 
deliver an engaging 
teenage romance. 

Ciouds of Siis 
Maria Cinema 

Kristen Stewart 
continues her 
assault on the 
art-house crowd 
alongside indie 

darling Juliette 
Binoche in this 
meta-drama all 
about an ageing 
actress forced to 
confront the next 
generation and her 
own insecurities. 

A more sobering, 
sane Maps to the 
Stars with a star 
turn by Stewart. 

The Duff Cinema 

What could be a 
tasteless one note 
gag - Duff stands 
for Designated 
Ugly Fat Friend 
- is worth a 
punt for fans of 
warm, witty teen 
flicks. With social 
media prevalent 
throughout and a 
hot young cast of 
new teen stars, this 
is Pygmalion for the 
21st century. 

Insurgent Cinema While Divergent 
was repeatedly called out as a 
flimsy The Hunger Games knock-off, 
Insurgent has the franchise finding its 
action-packed, albeit maudlin feet in a 
superior YA dystopian sci-fi adventure. 
Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four 
(walking Action Man Theo James) 
are on the run from the hilariously 
unthreateningly-named Jeanine 
(Kate Winslet, giving fine matriarch 
bitch-face) and her crew of hunky 
meatheads. While the plot is po-faced, 
it boasts a fair few surprises, while 
the action is surprisingly brutal and 
the themes thought-provoking. Make 
the most of it before the inevitable, 
needlessly two-part finale slows 
things to a crawl. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 

John Wick Cinema Keanu 
Reeves stars in this... wait! WAIT! 
Come back! Or, rather, comeback. 
Yep, after years spent languishing 
in post-The Matrix naffness, John 
Wick signals Reeves’ return to, if 
not the big time, at least a level 
of quality filmmaking we haven’t 
seen from him in years. The titular 
antihero is a man heartbroken by 
the loss of his wife, but who finds 
solace in the delivery of a puppy. 
That is until Russian gangsters beat 
him up and kill the dog, sparking a 
hugely enjoyable, OTT vengeance 
mission that’s as irreverent and 
unashamed as it is fun. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 


One-Way Ticket to Heaven 

Magical Tunes presents a pre-release production 
written & composed by Sami Hammi 

1 5 Gordon Street, London, WC1 H OAH 
Box Office: 020 31081000 
Book tickets online: 
booking fees apply 

W \ 

m \ 




Directed by Calvin E. Burke 
Choreography: Sabine HaB-Zimmermann 
Executive Producer: Markus Muller 







Cult figure and gay author 

Chuck Palahniuk is writing 
a sequel to his bestselling 
hyper sexual, ultra-violent novel 
Fight Club with comics publisher 
Dark Horse, giving us all a chance 
to find out what happens next. 

This meditation on male 
aggression and the meaning of 
life was unforgettably brought 
to the screen in David Fincher’s 
movie of the same name - 
starring Ed Norton’s fists and, 
of course. Brad Pitt’s abs, just 
pounding on each other - and 
Jared Leto - in a hot mess of 
loose teeth and a bit of blood 
spilt in the boardroom. Also, 
randomly, Meatloaf. 

This is Fight Club 2, picking up 
the story a decade after the end of 
the novel, exploring the broken 
connection between Sebastian, the 
book’s unnamed narrator, and his 
imaginary friend Tyler Durden. 

Ten years following Project 
Mayhem, Sebastian’s living a 
mundane life, married to Marla 
Singer and medicating to suppress 
you-know-who. Together they have 
this nice, normal suburban life, a 
son and a white picket fence. But 
TWIST! Marla has been secretly 
cutting her husband’s meds so she 
can cheat with Tyler! 

The naked aggression of 
Tyler Durden still lurks beneath 
the surface and threatens to 
overwhelm the steady life that 
Sebastian has built. Does he 
have the strength to cage him 
again? Or could the decade of 
marriage and parenthood have 
Sebastian exhausted to the point 
Tyler has become unstoppable? 
Will Fight Club rise again? Our 
money’s on yes, yes, yes. 

Palahniuk is joined by artist 
Cameron Stewart and our forecast 
for this series is a sexy, fun, 
grossly violent psychological romp 
chocked with homoerotic themes, 
space monkeys, support group 
tourism, and subtext. So pick up 
a copy - but whatever you do, 
remember, DON’T talk about it. 
That’s rule number one. ■ 


[Gravely voice] 
“I’m batman. 

I’m fabulous” 

Remember the days 
that Bat’s fought 
aliens, jumped 
sharks and got 
tied up a lot? No? 
Before our time 
too. These genius 
rainbow vinyls 
come right from the 
50s when Batman 
said, “I must wear 
a different coloured 
costume each 
night!” ■ 

“I don’t want one 
position, I want all 

Amazing costumes, 
inhuman creatures 
and an ancient evil 
casting shade across 
the entire galaxy! 

The Fifth Element is 
a martial arts Drag 
Race in space at the 
end of the universe. 
The characters live 
on as retro-format 
figures everyone’s 
going crazy for. ■ 

All hail Mohawk! 

The most evil of 
Gremlins is getting 
a retro 8-bit make- 
under from the 
vault of classic NES 
game Gremlins 
2. Yes, that was a 
thing. You know 
the rules: Don’t 
feed after midnight, 
don’t get wet, don’t 
talk about Fight 
Club... Wait! Comes 
with a machine 
gun accessory. Of 
course. ■ 

In every generation, there’s a vinyl one 
What’s missing from your life? Hint; It’s not 
a pair of stylish yet affordable boots. This 
collection assembles the Scooby Gang 
and some of Sunnydale’s misunderstood 
monsters as you’ve never seen them. 
Featuring the familiar faces of the Buffster 
herself, mild-mannered watcher Giles and 
witch-in-training Willow, as well as Big Bads 
Angelas, Drusilla, Spike and The Master! We 
love the blind boxed format, complete with 
chase figures - clue; F-A-l-T-H - and the very 
best thing? No Dawn! A brilliant addition to 
the Doctor Who and Breaking Bad vinyl lines 
- check ‘em out on Twitter and Instagram. 
Come on Whedonites, do #WeLoveTITANS? ■ 



Life Clock 

Life Clock Really 
helping the Apple 
Watch zing into 
life as an essential 
new piece of tech, 
this app COUNTS 
Extrapolating data 
from your Health Kit, 
this doesn’t quite 
claim to be accurate, 
but it does slap you 
in the face with your 
inactivity. Chirpy 
existentialism! ■ 

The Noise App 

Basically an app 
designed for our 
editor. The Noise 
App lets you 
record whatever is 
preventing you from 
getting to sleep so 
you can forward it on 
to your council. And 
with more than 100 
UK councils already 
accepting reports, 
those parties are 
practically closing 
themselves down. ■ 

Mortal Combat X 

irtal Kombat series outraged Middle 
England with the best of them from the 90s 
onwards, with some parents deciding that 
developers making games involving heads being 
ripped out - spine and all - was the same as 
telling them to buy them for their children. Well, 
guess what, those children are now maladjusted 
grown-ups with disposable incomes and the 
Mortal Kombat series is back to finish taking their 
souls. And the current generation of machines 
can render that button mashing bloodletting 
in even higher definition. All your favourite 
characters are back, alongside a new roster of 
very angry people with particular sets of skills. 
Things look predictably gorgeous, in a deeply 
violent kind of way, but time will tell if the hardcore .. 
fight fans take to this new breed of beat ‘em up.-Q' 

Out now across formats 

Dark Souls 2; Scholar of the First 

Sin From the twisted minds that 
brought you Bloodborne and Dark 
Souls comes, urm, Dark Souls 2, now 
taking its bow on PS4 and Xbox One. 
Also launching on last-gen platforms, 
Scholar of the First Sin repackages the 
original game alongside three pieces 
of extra content, improved visuals, an 
increase in online players and new 
characters. Oh, and it’s still bastard 
hard. ■ 

Out now across formats 

The Order; 1886 The most stunning 
looking game yet? Possibly. The 
Order feels like a half-step towards 
greatness, with an immersive story 
about an alt-London beset, with 
rebellion and werewolves, asking 
players to spend as much time 
pressing X to advance the story as it 
does giving you a game to play. The 
gunplay packs a proper punch when 
it kicks in, without reinventing things. 
But more actual game, please! ■ 

Out now on PS4 

108 GT 


Apple Watch 

Weighing in at 
between £299 and 
£13,500 depending 
on how stupid you 
are, the Apple 
Watch should be 
further turning 
more and more of 
us over to the dark 
overlords in the sky 
as the Ascension 
moves forth. Or, it’ll 
connect your wrist 
to your apps and 
your phone and 
quietly take over the 
world in a slightly 
less aggressive 
way. From £299, ■ 


The smartwatch is finally 
here! Thith be told, it’s 
been here for a while. But 
just like there was the 
MP3 player before there 
was the iPod, the anival 
of the Apple Watch marks 
the advent of most people 
paying attention - like 
it or not. But, and weVe 
said this before. Apples 
are not the only fruit... 



For those who’d 
rather eat an apple 
than wear one, 
Samsung is king. 
The Gear S has a 
curved sAMOLED 
screen and packs 
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 
and 3G connectivity 
- as well as a 
roomy screen. 

But, you know, 

APPLE. Which is 
just as annoying a 
statement as IT’S 
APPLE, by the way. 
From around £300, ■ 

Moto 360 

The Moto 360 took 
the original route 
of trying to make 
a smartwatch 
look like, well, a 
watch. Powered by 
Android Wear, this 
slick looking little 
thing nevertheless 
suffers from 
ropey battery life 
by comparison 
to some of its 
neighbours, and 
the relative infancy 
of the operating 
system. Still, wins 
on design for 
plenty of punters. 
From £199, ■ 



I ■ J 








H I iJ’. 

Jon Tebble 

London, 20, 
works for 
an arts 

My favourite body 
part is my bum. I 
like it so much. It’s 
hairy. Some guys 
like hairy bums. I like 
my beard as well. If 
I shave it, I look like 
I’m 15-years-old, so 
it’s necessary for me 
to have one. 

I’m going to have top 
surgery and lower 
surgery. But for now, [| | 
I’m quite fine with my 
breasts and genitalia. 

I love the effect that 
testosterone has had 
on my body. I think 
I’ve been really lucky. 

I’d sleep with 
Stephen Fry and 
I’d go for someone 
aged 60. I want to 
marry a sugar daddy. 

I like someone who 
can take me out and 
buy me nice things 
- people should be 
honest about that. 

It’s not everything, 

I’d never go cruising 
with the anatomy 
I have, because I 
wouldn’t feel safe. 

There’s this idea in 
the media right now, 
sex by deception, 
and I’m so scared of 
that. I meet people 
on the internet, and 
through friends of 

I’m a recovering 
alcoholic... I’ve been 
sober for a while. 

The gay scene is 
very alcohol and club 
orientated, which 
is why I feel even 
more uncomfortable 
going out in those 
places. ■ 


[ 112 ] 

If the Price 
is right... 

Meet Nathan 
- the 20-year- 
old who’s 
spent around 
£50k to look 
like his idol 
Katie Price. ■ 

[ 120 ] 

Hitting a 
bum note 

boyfriend won’t 
have anal sex. 
What should 
he do? The 
Guyliner offers 
his advice. ■ 

[ 126 ] 

A cautionary 

There’s such a 
thing as hitting 
the gym too 
hard. Chris 
Jones tells us 
why less CAN 
be more. ■ 


At just 20 years old, 
Nathan Thursfield has already 
spent close to £50,000 on plastic 
surgery - and all to look like his 
idol, Katie Price. Despite Katie 
herself trying to talk him out of 
it, Nathan, a retail supervisor 
from Stoke-on-Trent, has had two 
nose jobs, botox and lips fillers - 
and plans a bum lift, liposuction, 
facelift and a tattoo. In his own 
words, he tells GT why surgery, 
and Katie, have changed his life 



Price dates back about seven 
years when I saw her on a TV 
documentary. I thought she was 
pretty cool. I quickly became 
fascinated by her and wanted to 
know everything about her. And 
I loved that she couldn’t care less 
what people thought of her. 

I started going to all her signings, 
I watched her TV programmes, I 

read every book she wrote and 
bought just about everything she’s 
ever released - just for the sake 
of buying it. Even if it’s a girl’s 
perfume. I’ll buy it and then give it 
to my mum or my sister. 

While I love the way Katie 
looks. I’ve always hated my own 
appearance. I used to hang out with 
a lot of girls at school and they all 
thought I was dead good looking, 
but I just didn’t like myself at all. 
And my lack of confidence in my 
looks is nothing to do with being 
bullied or any childhood trauma. 

I always felt that a man should 
be masculine, but I feel like I’m 
feminine. I even debated whether 
I was really a woman trapped in a 
man’s body and actually wanted a 

sex change. But no. I’m not. And I 
no longer think I was born wrong. 
I’m happy being a big gay. 

I hated my nose the most - it was 
fat, manly and I wanted it to look 
quite feminine, which it didn’t. So 
18 months ago, I decided I wanted a 
nose job - and who better to model 
my new one on than Katie? I’ve met 
Katie in real life many times, so I’ve 
seen what her nose looks like in the 
flesh - and it’s perfect! I thought, 
‘I’m going to have that.’ 

When I told my family and 
friends I was going to have plastic 
surgery to have Katie’s nose, 
everyone tried to talk me out of it. 
They’d say, ‘No, you’ll look stupid,’ 
but I did it anyway. 

It cost me £6,500 and I paid for it 


by taking out personal loans with 
interest, so it came to about £9,000 
in total. But 1 had a lot of problems 
after the operation, like blood clots, 

1 couldn’t breathe, it was painful, 
it affected my voice and the whole 
experience was just awful. 

But once all the bandages came off 
and the swelling went down, 1 was 
disappointed with it. It just didn’t 
look the same as Katie’s nose, it just 
wasn’t as feminine and as straight as 
hers, so in February this year, 1 paid 
£5,500 for a second operation. Now 
it looks pretty much the same as 
hers. I’m not sure if I’m happy with 
it yet, though. It’s still early days, so 
if it doesn’t look just right. I’ll give 
it a few more weeks then I’ll have a 
third operation. 

Some people have commented on it 
and like it, but others are jealous and 
say they can’t see a difference. 1 can’t 
wait to show Katie what it looks like. 

The first time 1 met Katie was 
in 2007 at a calendar signing in 

London. 1 queued for 11 hours and 
by the time 1 reached the front, 1 
didn’t actually say anything to her. 

1 just looked at her, then 1 started 
crying and walked off after she 
signed it. 1 went on to meet her 
loads of times at other signings. 
Then after a couple of years, all 
of a sudden 1 knew 1 had to talk to 
her. And she’d seen me so many 
times, she recognised me. She 
remembered me because 1 was so 
brown thanks to my fake tan and she 
was so overwhelming that 1 couldn’t 
believe it. 1 was telling everyone 
Katie Price knows who 1 am. She 
now even follows me on Twitter. 

When 1 told her that 1 was having 
surgery to get her nose, she thought 
1 was mad and that 1 didn’t need it 
doing, and that 1 was gorgeous as 1 
was. But whatever she does, like her 
eyebrows or teeth, 1 do the same. 1 
don’t think I’m weird, 1 just think she 
looks dead good. 

1 had a semi permanent tattoo on 

my eyebrows so they look like hers. 

1 hated my original eyebrows, men’s 
can get dead bushy. 1 know I’m 
only 20, but for two years I’ve been 
having botox every three months. 

1 don’t want to ever have a wrinkle 
on my face and, when I’m 40, 1 want 
to look 20 years younger. I’m not 
obsessed with botox but 1 just don’t 
want to get old. Some people like to 
age gracefully but not me. 

People look at my lips rather than 
my new nose. 1 get them injected 
with filler every three months 
because 1 have no top lip at all 
without it. Even though Katie’s had 
all her lip stuff taken out now. I’m 
going to continue. She’s going for the 
natural look but 1 prefer her with big 
lips and big boobs. 

The next thing I’m going to have 
is a bottom lift, where they take fat 
from around your body, like your 
back and sides, and inject it into 
your bum. It gives it a peachy shape, 
like Katie’s. 1 don’t like my bum, 1 
think it’s a bit saggy and a lift will 
help it look better. 1 know 1 should 
just go to the gym and sort it out with 
exercise, but it’s quicker to just have 
it done by a surgeon. 

1 really need my teeth doing, 
too. 1 hate my teeth - everyone 
says they’re fine, but 1 want the 
Hollywood smile, even if it means 
filing down what 1 have to put 
veneers in. Teeth whitening is crap 
if your teeth don’t look perfect in the 
first place. 1 know Katie went though 
hell with her veneers, but it’s going 
to be worth the pain for me. 

I’m also going to have a tattoo like 
Katie has of a garter belt around 
my thigh. I’ve been to have one 
measured up and it’ll take about 
ten hours in the tattooist’s chair, but 
1 can’t wait. 1 also want liposuction 
and in a few years 1 want a facelift. 

Some of my friends think I’m a bit 
mad and a bit over the top doing 
all this, and my boyfriend Michael 
always tries to persuade me not to do 
it, telling me 1 don’t need this work, 
to be careful and that 1 might regret 
it. So when 1 have stuff done, he 


When I told 
Katie Price I 
was having 
surgery to get 
her nose, she 
thought I was 
mad. I don’t 
think I’m weird 
I just think 
she looks 
dead good 

comes with me so that I don’t go over 
the top. If I went on my own, then I’d 
ask for more stuff to be injected into 
my lips and I’d end up looking like a 
duck. He also knows that if he ever 
gave me an ultimatum of the surgery 
or him. I’d pick the surgery. 

I still look at photographs of myself 
and I don’t think I’m good looking 
at all. People have told me I can’t 
see what they do and that maybe I 
have body dysmorphia - and maybe 
I have. I don’t like it when friends 
say they think I’m good looking, 
but then when I meet someone 
who doesn’t say it, I think ‘Oh, why 
haven’t they?’ It’d probably be 
cheaper for me to go to therapy than 
have all this work, but to be honest, I 
like the fake look and it suits me. 

I go to work and make my own 
money so I can spend it how I want 
to, and I reckon I’ve spent close 
to £50,000 in the last five years on 
plastic surgery and other work. 

I even got cash back from my 
mortgage then went on a massive 
spending spree and blew the money 
on having work done. 

The gay scene has been dead 
accepting of me; I’m normal to 
them and having this work has 
changed my life. Some GT readers 
are probably thinking, ‘Oh my God 
what a freak,’ but it’s made me a lot 
more confident. I never used to go 
out, then I start having my lips done 
and fake tanning, and now I’ve had 
my nose done, nothing can stop 
me from living my life. Those who 
criticise me on Twitter and online 
don’t know me, so they can go fuck 
themselves. I’m happy, so nothing 
else matters! ■ 



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[michael alig] 

‘No, Julian,’! 

sighed, deflated and 
exasperated. ‘You 
can’t strangle me.’ 

Weirdly enough, it wasn’t the 
first, or even the second time 
I’d been in a situation like this. 
There seemed to be something 
about me, a red-flashing signal 
1 was giving off like a human 
lighthouse, a five-foot-eight, 167 
pound, 48-year-old beacon of 
need, that attracted only the most 
damaged, destructive boyfriends 
and relationships. How else to 
explain away the third time - 
in less than a year - that 1 had 
hooked up with a guy turned on 
by the thought of being punched 
in the face, kicked in the ribs 
and being choked to the point of 

You wouldn’t have known it to 
look at them. Gerard was the 
sweetest looking guy, with a soft 
boyish face and wisp of fuzz over 
his always grinning, luscious 
upper lip. 

‘Hit me,’ he said within 15 minutes 
of meeting me on the uptown train, 
doing that cruising thing when you 
look, and he looks back, and you 

look again. 

1 should probably say here that 
as far as 1 know, Gerard had no 
idea who 1 was or what I’d done. 
Despite reports in the media of 
people seeking me out in order to 
celebrate, or who are ‘turned on’ 
by my crime, to my knowledge 
this has never happened. Gerard 
simply enjoyed being punched in 
the face. 

On the other hand, when he 
wasn’t, you know, begging to be 
kicked in the guts, Gerard was the 
softest, most cuddly little teddy 
bear. 1 invited him over for pizza 
and movie night. We sat on the 
sofa watching Pink Flamingos, 
arms and legs draped over one 
another, scratching each others’ 
neck and back. 

‘It’s obviously a self-esteem 
issue,’ 1 said when my therapist 
asked why 1 think that 1 attract 
these kinds of guys. ‘1 seek out only 
the most damaged and needy.’ 

I’ll say! Julian, the one who 
wanted to strangle me, ended up 
being sort of my boyfriend for a 
few months. And 1 say ‘sort of,’ 
because Julian, 1 learned later 
on, already had a boyfriend. An 



on my 




said one 




we have 

sex on his 


bed It was 






older gentleman who apparently 
supported Julian, because 
Julian didn’t have a job, he was 
available all day, everyday, no 
matter when. I’d go over to his 
apartment, early in the morning, 
after his boyfriend would go 
to work. There were obviously 
issues between the two of them, 
who slept in separate rooms. 

‘1 want you to cum on my 
boyfriend’s pillow,’ Julian said 
one afternoon after insisting we 
have sex on his boyfriend’s bed. 

It was another flashing warning 
sign. 1 saw something sinister and 
vindictive in Julian that day. 

And yet, 1 didn’t breakup with him. 

1 have a history of not letting 
go of relationships, both good 
and bad. It’s all part of the addict 
mentality of not wanting to let go 
of anything, even if it’s seriously 
wrong or potentially damaging in 
some way. 

All my friends noticed what was 
going on. 

‘You need to get rid of that guy,’ 
my roommate, Ernie, said to me 
one morning at breakfast after 
overhearing a phone call from 
Julian letting me know that the 
coast would soon be clear. 

‘He’s in the shower,’ Julian said 
conspiratorially, almost laughing. 
‘He’ll be gone in ten minutes.’ 

The words shocked the hell out 
of me the second they exited my 

‘I’m not what you’re looking for,’ 

1 said to Julian, literally shaking. 

‘1 think we need to stop seeing 
each other.’ 

It was the first time in my life 
I’d ended a relationship with 
a guy 1 was attracted to, had 
deep feelings for, but knew was 
dishonest and unhealthy. The 
first time 1 realised 1 could be 
happy on my own, without having 
someone else in my life. A simple 
concept, really, for most people. 

But for me, it was a 
breakthrough. Yet 
another milestone. ■ 


What Max says about his hair transplant? 

I hcid/ (MV exceUmt e^e4^ievuye' (M\d' re^^Ut. 
Vwv^vM\k^uhfor what fUE HcUr 
hm/e' dx>n£/ (Mu^ W(ytil(i' re<xmme'vut the/m/ 1& 
(Miyom^ thM\hOy\^ of dov^ the/ cvy yyie/! 





Hair Transplant 

After 4 Months 

Book a Free Consultation 0844 815 9338 

mut//n oSs [benjamin oohen] 

The PinkNews 

Debate, held just 
before Parliament 
was dissolved for the General 
Election, was unlike any LGBT 
election debate I’ve ever been to 
before. With the exception of the 
host and, rather bizarrely, the UKIP 
representative Peter Whittle, all of 
the panelists were straight. 

When we picked our panel, 
which also included the Shadow 
Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, 
the Conservative Cabinet minister 
and Leader of the House of Lords 
Baroness Tina Stowell, the Lib 
Dem Chief Whip Don Foster and 
the Green Party leader Natalie 
Bennett, we wanted to demonstrate 
that LGBT issues are relevant to a 
wide cross section of politicians 
and the electorate. We also wanted 
to clearly state that LGBT voters 
will decide which party to back 
on a range of issues from the 
economy to gay rights. It was also 
to demonstrate something else - 
the importance of allies. 

At the debate, the panel were 
addressed via a Google Hangout 
by a brilliant straight ally. Virgin 
founder Sir Richard Branson. Back 

when homosexuality became 
legal and long before the founding 
of charities like Stonewall, Sir 
Richard launched the Student 
Advisory Centre, which helped 
many young people in the process 
of coming out. Now, he’s calling 
on politicians to ensure that sex 
and relationship education begins 
in an early age in ALL schools, in 
order to tackle what he described 
as the ‘menace’ of homophobic and 
transphobic bullying. His question 
prompted Yvette Cooper to launch 
into a passionate attack at the 
Coalition for dragging its feet at 
making these lessons compulsory 
in primary schools. 

Yvette has been a long-term 
friend and ally of the LGBT 
community, but the reason that 
she cares so much about this issue 
is that she’s a mum. She and her 
husband. Shadow Chancellor 
Ed Balls, have children now in 
secondary school - and both have 
talked about the importance of 
tackling homophobia in schools, 
not just for the children who’re 
there, but for the positive impact on 
society in general. 

Sir Richard backs diversity and 

Just as 






allies, it’s 

in my view 

that we 




allies Ah’ 





inclusion because it’s the thing 
to do, but also because it makes 
business sense. 

Allies are clearly important in our 
battle for rights and acceptance. 
Very few of the advances in 
equality in this country would’ve 
been possible without strong 
straight allies. These range from 
the brave MPs who voted to make 
it legal to be gay in England and 
Wales in 1967, despite strong 
opposition among their own 
parliamentary colleagues, through 
to the the rainbow coalition of 
David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed 
Miliband and Alex Salmond, who 
by working together, on this one 
issue, ensured same-sex marriage 
was introduced in England, Wales 
and Scotland last year. 

Just as we’ve benefited from 
strong straight allies, it’s in my 
view that we ourselves should 
become allies for other oppressed 
groups. On this, I’m particularly 
thinking of those who’re trans or 
wish to conform to no gender at 
all. While some gay people are 
puzzled by the inclusion of T in 
the LGBT acronym, it makes sense 
because we’re all allies. 

Just like gay people, trans people 
have to come to terms with an 
identity that defies traditional 
expectations and have to go 
through the incredibly stressful 
process of coming out to their 
family and friends. It’s much 
worse though, YouGov polling for 
PinkNews has found that you’re 
twice as likely to be rejected by 
your parents if you’re trans than if 
you’re gay. These figures will only 
be tackled through education and, 
of course, us all working together 
to fight for equality and acceptance 
in wider society. 

Fighting for trans rights will 
help gay men too in our battle for 
acceptance, just like ensuring that 
Virgin is a diverse and inclusive 
employer helps Sir 
Richard Branson to 
make more money. ■ 


My boyfriend won*t | 
have anals5c-^B 
should I leave him'^ 

I’m 33, my partner is 29. We’ve 
been together ten years. I love 
him to bits but our reiationship is 
sexiess, aside from some mutuai 
masturbation or orai every now 
and again. It’s been like this for 
the iast few years. 

He doesn’t iike anai - either 
giving or receiving. I’ve tried 
everything to make it more 
pieasurabie for him, but he’s not 
interested. This isn’t about sexuai 
attraction - he just doesn’t iike it. 

The concept of an open 
reiationship doesn’t appeai to 
him. I’ve talked to him about it, 
but he’s happy with the situation 
as it is, so doesn’t put much effort 

in to try and change. I’ve even 
bluntly told him he needs to ‘put 
out’ or I’ii end up having an affair. 

I recentiy met someone eise I 
reaiiy iike and the sex is great. 
He’s very sexuai - it makes such 
a change from being constantiy 
rebuffed. I don’t iove him yet, but 
we’re heading in that direction. 

I feei iike a compiete bastard. 

I iove my partner and don’t want 
to hurt him, but I can’t spend the 
rest of my iife effectiveiy ceiibate 
- I’m 33, not 93! 

My partner is very emotionaiiy 
and f inanciaiiy dependent on me 
and spiitting wouid destroy him, 
but I don’t see a soiution that wiii 
satisfy us both. Martin, via e-mail 

The Guyiiner repiies I think if 
you’d written to me a few months 
ago, before you’d embarked on a 
relationship with someone else. I’d 


probably have said you need to work on 
it, get some counselling. What’s quite 
telling is that while you say you’re not 
yet in love with the guy you’re seeing on 
the side, you think it might be heading 
that way. Of course, it’s possible to 
love two people at the same time, but 
this suggests to me that the disconnect 
from your long-term partner has already 
begun. You still love him, of course, and 
have tried to accommodate his different 
sexual desires - or lack thereof - but 
it seems you are only staying with him 
because you think you should. Ten 
years is a long time, and it’s great you 
got together so young and are still 
together, but there’s no long-service 
medal for staying in a relationship that, 
for whatever reason, isn’t fulfilling your 
needs any longer. 

You could try asking why your 
boyfriend doesn’t like anal sex. For 
him not to like either method suggests 
there’s something deeper going on. Has 
he always avoided anal sex or has this 
evolved over time? “I don’t like it” doesn’t 
tell you much, but I imagine you don’t 
press the issue. Nobody wants to feel 
like a bully when it comes to sex. The 
bottom line - pardon the pun - is that it’s 
important to be happy in a relationship, 
and you don’t sound it. You have sought 
comfort elsewhere and it appears this 
is fulfilling not only your sexual needs, 
but your emotional ones too. You can’t 
stay with somebody just because they 
depend on you; the relationship has 
shifted into an almost parental state. 

It sounds like you’ve exhausted 
every avenue. If sex really is that 
important to you, then the best thing 
to do is to move on, or you run the 
risk of becoming a nag about it to 
your boyfriend and, worse, hurting 
him should he discover your affairs. If 
you really can’t leave your boyfriend, 
consider couples’ counselling, or 
resign yourself to the fact that sex is 
going to have to take a back seat. ■ 

Need some good old-fashioned advice on matters of iove, iife or reiationships? 
Emaii me in totai confidence on I can’t 
respond individuaiiy and your emaiis may be edited for use in the magazine. 
We won’t use your reai name or pubiish any contact detaiis. 

120 GT 




[ 01 ] 


The Class Tourist 

It’s amazing who 
you meet when you’re out 
drinking a badly made mojito 
out of a jam jar. Thanks to the 
uniforms of our various tribes, 
be it skinny jeans and a hat or 
a t-shirt so tight your nipples 
are taking you to a tribunal, 
you never know whether you’re 
standing next to a bricklayer 
or a minor royal. Except, of 
course you do - once they open 
their mouths. An accent is 
a dead giveaway. The Class 
Tourist uses accents like some 
of us use cockrings or leathers 

- they’re his fetish. 

Whether he’s the aristo with a 

penchant for a bit of rough, or a 
working-class hero with a lust 
for lords, the Class Tourist is 
only interested in you because 
of who you aren’t, not who you 
are. Watch the snooty one squeal 
with delight as you serve him 
fish fingers and chips for his 
‘tea’! And is that an actual pint 
of bitter? Gosh! His lesser- 
moneyed equivalent will enjoy 
being the bit of trade at a weak- 
chinned ‘supper’ and being told 
he “scrubs up” well. 

But what happens when the 
novelty wears off and things 
move into relationship mode? 
Your friends’ early enthusiasm 
quickly evaporates when he 
screams “Goal!” in a cut-glass 
accent at a football match. 

And, sorry posh boys, while 
your mother may be over you 
being gay, it doesn’t mean 
she’s ready to hand you over 
to someone who doesn’t know 
what a drawing room is. 

The solution There’s only one 
thing that can possibly make you 
level. Yes, that great equaliser 

- drag. Either that, or run away 
together and live in a Barratt house 
and spend your days polishing 
your Mondeo - comfortably, 
eternally middle-of-the-road. ■ 

[ 02 ] 

The Lazy Shag 

Is there anything 
worse than getting so carried 
away in the attraction to 
somebody, only to later realise 
that they’re the dreariest shag 
you’ve ever had in your entire 
life? It’s not that they can’t do 
it when they feel like it - it’s 
just that they don’t care about 
anything other than their own 

“How was it for you darling?” 
never even crosses his lips, 
because he’s not interested 
in what you felt. Once he’s 
endured the foreplay you 
insist upon before your trackie 
bottoms slip to the floor, he’ll 
take you in hand for as long as 
it takes for him to get to where 
he needs to be. If you’re lucky, 
he’ll finish you off, but more 
often than not, he’ll leave you 
with a lump, and not just in 
your throat. The kind of lump 
that only a trip to the bathroom 
with your David Beckham 
calendar can fix. 

The Lazy Shag is usually 
the better-looking half of a 
couple. Being the hotter one, 
he’s never really had to try 
that hard between the sheets 
- and he certainly doesn’t see 
any reason to start now. By 
his reckoning, you should be 
HONOURED he’s letting you 
get your hands on his goods, 
and as for “being there” for 
you, well, what more do you 
want, exactly? Everything 
is express, an absolute 
masterpiece in instant 
gratification - well, for him, 
at least. 

The solution There’s a hard 
and fast rule when it comes to 
doing the nasty - be hard, not 
fast. You can gamely delay his 
gratification if you feel you’re 
up to it, meaning he’ll have no 
choice but to make sure you’re 
having a good time too. ■ 


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[positive Mce] 

Body image seems 

to surround us all on a 
daily basis; whenever 
we look at a magazine, drool over 
the sexy aftershave adverts on our 
TVs, even when we hook-up with 
someone on a night out - it’s really 
not uncommon to subconsciously 
analyse what we see in front of 
us, reality or fantasy, to our own 
conceptions of the ‘ideal’ body. 

This has been known for decades, 
but does this high regard of flawless 
body-image affect LGBT people in a 
slightly different way, or is the issue 
causing a similar level of stress 
among straight people? 1 write this 
as a gay man who’s 5ft8 and slim; 
some may use the word ‘skinny’ - 
depending on their interpretations 
of ‘low-muscle tone guys’ and what 
derogatory label should be dished 
out accordingly. 

1 feel sad that the gay community, 
in my eyes, has a very narrow mind 
when it comes to the perfect body; 
I’ve often been told 1 need to go 
and grab myself a protein shake 
and hit the gym in order to ‘match 
the body 1 would gain to the face 
that 1 have.’ Yes, seriously. But as a 
young gym-phobic man with little 

time to build my Adonis temple, 
it’s a sad fact that I’ll intentionally 
buy jackets with more padding in 
the shoulders, to hopefully hide the 
skeletal structure 1 was given. 

The rise of social media also 
seems to be a culprit as it becomes 
increasingly apparent how often 
labels, based on body type, are 
dished out. Even Grindr wants me 
to select a ‘tribe’ to tell everyone 
‘what 1 am.’ At first, it’d appear 1 
should be a twink, but as soon as 
my chest hair peeps-out of a low 
cut t-shirt 1 seem to transform into 
something called a ‘cub.’ Why do 1 
have to be anything? 

Body perception is now becoming 
such an integrated part of the 
gay man’s idiolect that everyone 
is assigned these labels, and as 
an accomplice to this judgment, 
phrases such as ‘no bears’ or ‘no 
t winks’ are sadly now as common 
on Grindr as our names. Even my 
lesbian friends feel that their body 
type is usually synonymous with a 
label of some sort. Fat means butch, 
skinny means fern. 

1 can’t even imagine how difficult 
it’d be to be a larger gay man. 

With so much pressure to conform 

bonus in 
my book. 
Maybe il^ 
time we 

to the 
world of 


to what’s expected through our 
sexualised society, they have to 
endure feeling pushed out of a 
crowd that, historically, was our 
only crowd to belong to. 

I’d be a liar if 1 said 1 wasn’t 
annoyed when 1 meet a guy who 
never seems to work out, but holds 
onto an attractive ‘V’ shape torso 
that seems to look brilliant in 
practically every item of clothing; 
usually thanks to a combination of 
fat-burning genes and broad bones. 
An ‘attractive’ body will always 
remain appealing to us, but 1 often 
take great pride in telling friends 
that not one of my ex-partners ever 
had six-pack abs. 1 always seem to 
base my opinions of attractiveness 
on a warm smile, a kind heart and 
even a charismatic charm. 

What remains under clothing 
has always been a bonus in my 
book, and as a community that 
has endured so many stereotypes 
throughout the years, maybe 
it’s time we stopped adhering 
to the hypersexualised world of 
perfection and start to focus on 
the stereotypes we have for one 
another; for a body that’s 6ft2 and 
packed with muscle may not always 
have the personality we’ll find the 
most attractive. 

It’s now time we lost the 
unworthy connection we hold 
onto; that gay men have to look 
and act in a particular way in 
order to be considered attractive. 
We’re only human after all, and if 1 
have to wait for the day 1 have less 
essays to write for my studies, and 
more time to work on my physical 
health, then so be it. 

Our quest for the perfect body in 
our partners and in ourselves is a 
quest we’ll always fail in, because 
the ‘perfect body’, or even the 
‘perfect partner’ will always be 
an obstacle that we forever envy 

1 think it’s time we realised that 
a ‘perfect anything’ 
never really existed in 
the first place. ■ 


Tel Aviv 2015 

Come ond celebrofe 

Pride in Tel Aviv 7-ii* June 2015 

LAMBDA HOLIDAYS • Tel: 020 8342 5500 • Email: 

[pi brernian] 


‘So, I’d like you to fix 

your hair, your teeth, 
get muscular and get 
tan,’ she said. 

‘But you said you liked the 
Robert Pattinson Twilight look 1 
had,’ 1 replied. 

‘1 know, but now 1 think you look 
sickly,’ she sighed, exasperated. 
‘And lower your speaking voice, 
you’re not convincing anyone.’ 

I’d been in LA for a few weeks at 
that point, but that conversation 
with a potential manager was the 
most LA thing that had happened 
to me so far. It was around this 
time last year, or as a certain 
miserable portion of television 
creatives call it, ‘pilot season.’ 

For a couple of days afterwards, 1 
stayed in LA and took her advice 
seriously. Those were simple 
enough tasks, right? Just basically 
change everything about myself, 
including my speaking voice. 

1 finally came to my senses - if 
LA didn’t want me the way 1 was, 
then 1 didn’t want LA. 1 got my 
pasty ass back on a plane to New 
York City, the concrete jungle and 
yada yada yada. 

More recently, I’ve been taking 

an acting class specifically 
designed for LGBT students with 
a teacher named Brad Calcaterra. 
The class roll covers the queer 
spectrum and it’s kind of the 
opposite of that meeting in LA. 
That lady would’ve had a field 
day with my classmates, but 
that’s why they’re amazing. The 
class mostly explores all the 
internalised blocks we’ve set up 
to prevent us from delivering 
a truthful and embodied 
performance. So we cry and 
scream and laugh a lot, and it 
feels kind of frenetic, but it also 
feels alive and perfect. 

A few weeks ago, Russell 
Tovey talked about masculinity 
in the context of his career. It’s 
important to highlight that it was 
in regards to his job as an actor, 
because 1 sadly understood what 
he was saying. He’s in a rare 
position of being cast as both gay 
and straight, a status few homos 
are allowed. 

I’ll tell you an embarrassing 
story. Years back, while 1 was still 
in drama school, 1 ran into him 
at a club. 1 told him he was my 
inspiration for many years for that 



my dad 





idea of 

what being 









not mine 


very reason and 1 hoped to one 
day convincingly play both gay 
and straight. Luckily 1 didn’t tell 
him 1 loved him, like I’d originally 
planned. He shook my hand and 
politely wished me a good night, 
and for these past five years I’ve 
broken my back trying to achieve 
that goal. 

But now I’m tired of it. My gold 
standard for acting, or even life, 
shouldn’t be to convincingly play 
straight. The minute 1 think like 
that is the minute I’m buying into 
someone else’s version of what 
1 should be. When 1 came out as 
gay, my dad sincerely told me 
he was scared for me and that 
maybe if 1 ‘dressed less gay’ I’d 
be safer out there. Russell and my 
dad would probably have a pretty 
similar idea of what being a man 
is. And that’s fine. But it doesn’t 
necessarily mean it’s right, and 
it’s certainly not mine. 

A lot of us are falling for it though, 
huh? 1 see countless guys on 
Instagram letting me know they hit 
the gym for the fifth day in a row. 
And I’ll be honest; 1 still look at 
my body and don’t like it. The big 
beefy dudes seem to be having all 
the sex, going to the best parties 
and basically living life like it’s 
golden. Question: Where does all 
their money come from?! 

Here’s my issue, in a nutshell: 
We’ve spent years internally 
abusing ourselves for not 
conforming, and now, with 
acceptance, we aren’t dismantling 
those fears, we’re threading them 
into the fabric of our culture. 

It’s hard to separate from what 1 
once thought of myself, hard not 
to hate myself since I’ve done 
it for so long, that’s for damn 
sure, but for inspiration, 1 go 
back to that Vine of the little girl 
sipping a cup of tea and saying, 

‘1 don’t care if you don’t like me, 1 
loooove me.’ And then she winks. 

1 love that wink. Stay 
real, young lady, 1 will 
too. Wink. ■ 


Whether you’re wanting to look good on the beach, shed a few pounds or just 
live a healthier lifestyle, email me on or tweet me 
at @ChrisJonesGeek. I can’t respond to everyone and your emails or tweets 
may be edited for use in the magazine. We won’t publish any contact details. 

126 GT 


I am injured. Not exactly the 
most inspiring opening to a 
fitness column but please do 
bear with me. 

The beginning of 2015 has been, 
what can 1 say, unkind to me. 1 
embarked, like many do, on a 
serious health kick. My diet was 
good, 1 had cut down on alcohol 
and 1 was visiting the gym three 
to four times a week. My sessions 
included weight training and the 
odd cardio session thrown in. 1 
knew what worked for my body 
and 1 was happy with the progress. 
1 started to notice the results 1 
wanted - and within a short time, 
too. I’d done this sort of kick 
before, but never had 1 noticed 
my body changing in such a way. 

1 was getting a six-pack, my chest 
was toning up and my thighs were 
killer. But then... 

One Sunday afternoon. 

I’d worked on my back and 
triceps at the gym. 1 left feeling 
accomplished and content with my 
workout. All in all, fine. Later that 
evening 1 bemoaned a slight pain 
in the small of my back. A case of 
‘over doing it’ and a minor pull, 1 
figured. 1 took some painkillers 
and thought nothing of it. 

1 awoke Monday morning at Sam 
to the most intense pain I’ve ever 
had. It spanned from my lower 

back, all up my right side and into 
my chest. 1 was unable to breathe 
properly and it scared the shit out 
of me. An ambulance ride later 
and a ‘going over’ in A&E revealed 
1 had suffered a musculoskeletal 
tear in my side. This is a tear to 
the system that’s responsible for 
moving the skeletal system. So 
safe to say this was serious. 

For a week 1 suffered muscle 
spasms that incapacitated me. 1 
was off work and 1 couldn’t move 
much. 1 was not getting much 
sleep due to the pain - and the 
sleep 1 did get was just awful. As 
the spasms decreased, 1 noticed 
a sudden swelling and discolour 
in my right arm. 1 was rushed, 
again, to hospital were a blood 
clot had developed in my arm. 

The staff there were great and 
the worry was, ‘has this clot 
spread anywhere.’ It had. To my 
right lung. 

I’m now on a six month treatment 
plan for this and it has impacted 
my life, at the age of 28, more than 
1 thought it could. All because 1 
didn’t listen to my body, and didn’t 
prepare well for a workout. 

This is a cautionary tale. Be 
prepared, please. And don’t rush 
into any exercise plan without 
realistically assessing your abilities 
and potential. ■ 

Bodybuilding Warehouse 
Protein Pancakes. 
These were brilliant 
on pancake day, and 
took ALL the guilt 
away. Bodybuilding 
Warehouse Premium 
Protein Pancakes (£8.99 
for 500g) contain 22g 
of protein and 19g of 
low Gl slow-burning 
carbohydrates per 
serving, which can 
reduce the need 
to snack. They’re 
available in banana 
caramel, chocolate 
orange and lemon zest. ■ 

[ask Chris] 

Question I’ve 
been offered 
steroids by some 
of my friends. I’ve 
always wanted 
to be bigger but 
I’m scared of the 
health risks. What 

should I do? - 

Simon, via e-mail. 

Answer I don’t 
know if you read 
my column a few 
months back on 
steroids. They’re 
more common than 
people think -and 
that’s not a, “Yes, 
take them” at all. I 
can’t preach, but 
just asking whether 
to take what’s 
essentially an 
illegal drug is a way 
of already saying, 

“I know this is 
pretty dumb.” ■ 

butt pert. You can perform these 
at home, using just body weight. 
I’d recommend doing ten reps of 
four to begin with^^^^^^^^^_ 

[01] Stand " 
with your feet 
shoulder width 
apart and your 
hands stretched 
out in front for 
extra stability. 

[ 02 ] Lower 
yourself slowly 
down by bending 
your knees until 
they are almost 

at a right angle 
with your thighs 
parallel to the 

[03] Keep your 
back straight and 
tummy in while 
you ‘go down’ - 
and don’t let your 
knees extend 
over your toes. 


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Britain's No. 


After countless days, 
months and maybe even 
years searching, you’ve 
finally found your dream 
home. Hell, you’ve even 
imagined where you’d 
place your furniture and 
decided which colour 
to paint the bedroom. 

But how do you make 
sure you bag the place 
without blowing the 
bank? Here’s a few tips - 
and we’ll even teach you 
what ‘gazumping’ is... 


[01] Lie Yes, yes, lying is bad. 

We know. But your estate agent 
and the seller want you to spend 
as much money as possible, and 
will probably show you properties 
WAY over your budget. You, on the 
other hand, want to get a new home 
for the best possible price. So if 
you play your cards close to your 
chest, lie about your budget - just 
a little bit - and be firm about how 
much you’re willing to spend, you 
might be able to get an absolute 
steal. Saves you a few extra quid 
for a massive housewarming party. 

[02] Start low Estate agents have 
to pass on any offer to the seller 
- no matter how ridiculous. So 
start by offering below the asking 
price. Not too far below, though, or 
they’ll think you’re taking the piss 
and won’t want to accept anything 
from you. But low enough so you 

can always up the offer a bit later if 
they don’t accept. Just don’t bother 
blowing all your money on a price 
you could’ve negotiated - you don’t 
want to start life in your new home 
filled with regret. 

[03] Research Find out everything 
you can about the house, area and 
even the seller. We’re not saying 
you should go rooting through his 
bins, but if the property has mould 
or dodgy flooring, you could shave 
some much-needed pounds off the 
asking price. Find out what other 
properties in the area are going 
for, too. You could be getting a 
bargain, or you could be getting 
completely ripped off. 

[04] Be available Being a first time 
buyer can work to your advantage. 
Even though you most likely know 
nothing about owning a house, you 
have no ties to another property 
which could lead to complications. 
If you already own a house, though, 
make sure it’s on the market before 
you start putting offers in on other 
properties. Being available makes 
you very attractive - when doesn’t 
it? - to anyone wanting to sell fast, 
so make sure your estate agent 
knows your situation and can pass 
this on to the seller. 

[05] Be cool Don’t get too 
excited before you’ve signed and 
exchanged contracts! If the seller 
knows you love the place, they’ll 
know they can probably get more 
money out of you - and you never 
know what they’re doing while 
you’re not looking. ‘Gazumped’ 
is estate agentese for ‘the seller 
screwed you over after accepting 
your offer by taking a higher offer 
from someone else,’ and there’s 
nothing you can do about it unless 
you want to up your own offer. 
Make sure you ask the seller to 
take the place off the market and 
get all the legal stuff done ASAP, so 
you don’t end up losing a whole lot 
of money! ■ 



A film by ROBIN CAMPILLO, writer of Palme d'Or winner 'THE CLASS 



Available on DVD, Blu-ray and On-Demand amSZOnOO.Uk hmv 


visit us at | ^ 

^hlu^n "SI P kwely gays] 

Our hunt for hot 

interiors sets us off 
down unexpected 
paths. Last year we bumped into 
one of our TV design heroes, 
the very dashing Oliver Heath, 
now an expert in sustainable 
design. Not only handsome and 
charming, but his passion for 
the environment got us thinking. 
Can interiors be sustainable and 
still be sexy? 

We begin with a trip to 
the legendary Renaissance 
London to meet owner, Owen, 
rock god of reclamation. 

His fireplaces and lights 
are beyond glamorous. His 
own home, we find out as he 
invites us upstairs, is a sexy 
man-pad filled with the very 
best in architectural antiques. 
Renaissance, we salute you. 
Watch this space to see what we 
do with the chandelier! 

And if we’re talking lighting, 
Buster and Punch have 
spent two years developing 
their new LED Buster Bulb, 
revolutionising the traditional 
Edison bulb to make eco light 
bulbs sexy for the first time. 

Good with wood, on the 
furniture side of things, is 
pioneer, Seb Cox - not only 
a master craftsman, but 
passionate about nature and our 
impact on it. His Underwood 
collection is the first of its 
kind to come with carbon 
footprint credentials. His latest 
project aims to create a giant 
experiential sculpture that has 
a carbon footprint smaller than 
an iPhone 6. Good luck with that 
Seb. We know you won’t need it. 

As for us, in between client 
projects and renovating our 
new house, we couldn’t resist 
the #PimpMyFrench charity 
challenge. In line with our 
new found love for all things 
sustainable, we were asked 
by Out There Interiors to take 
a shabby piece of faux French 
furniture - a storage bench - and 
‘pimp’ it. How could we resist? 
We got together with designer/ 
metalwork artist. Primary Grey, 
using scrap from his workshop 
to create our finished design. 
Sustainability, it 
seems, can be fun AS 
WELL as sexy. ■ 

01 Buster Bulb, £39.99, 

02 #PimpMyFrench bench. Designed by 2lovelygays in collaboration 
with Primary Grey for Out There Interiors 

03 Crown Candelabra, from £35, 

04 Architectural salvage, 


The trend for new design 
inspired by shapes of the 
past continues. The iook 
is stiii contemporary and 
ciean - for those of you 
worried about a chintz 
revivai and -yes, the 80 s 
counts as retro now too 

[ 02 ] 

132 GT 



The dining tabies 

Traditional French elegance 
sharpened with sliced neon 
highlights. Eye-catching 
detail that allows pieces 
to be pushed together. 
Mogg Chez Philippe dining 
tables, £3,300, 


The pendant 

Sleek chrome pendant 
that evokes the chic 
dinner parties of the 70s. 
Fondue anyone? Boule 
Pendant Light Chrome, 


The dispiay storage 

Hints of 60s and 70s 
pattern made contemporary 
by light ash. Perfect as a 
set-piece space divider. 
Polygon shelving unit, 


The ciub armchair 

Bold, mid-century comfort 
perfect for late-night. 
Mad Men-inspired 
whiskey and cigar alone 
time. BLOC Club, £595, 


The giass tabie 

Timeless combination of 
wood and glass, stylish 
enough to be in a coffee 
table book. Juwel coffee 
table by TEAM 7, £1,181, 


The bistro chair 

A twist on the classic, 
brought up-to-date with 
matt grey plastic. Parki 
Grey Chair, £50, 


The ovai tabie 

Smooth 50s elegance 
in a sociable oval shape 
with room for ten. Argo 
dining table, £1,490, 


The snuggiing sofa 

Welcoming mid-century 
curves. Both simple and 
comfortable. Jonah three- 
seater sofa, £599, 


The pop art 

Luscious plastic pop 
statement armchair that’s 
in the permanent collection 
of the V&A. RM58 classic 
armchair, £645, 


The perfect host 

High-end reinvention of the 
hostess trolley freshened 
by Nordic attention to 
detail. Danish serving 
trolley, £1,500, 

In the 80s, Ikea famousiy toid us to ‘‘chuck out 
your chintz” and were pioneers in bringing sharp 
modern design to the masses. Retro experts 
Hopper and Space search high and iow for 
originais and teii us about the appeai of eariy Ikea 

Some 80s Ikea 
pieces have built 
up a cult following in 
recent years - and with 
their sharp minimal style, 
it isn’t hard to see why. 

Reputable Scandinavian 
designers were employed 
to come up with super 
stylish yet inexpensive 
pieces. Although mass 
produced for a throwaway 
market, a handful of these 
designs have stood the test 
of time and, for us, are as 
fresh and relevant today. 

Produced in their millions 

and casually discarded 
over the years, good 
examples are incredibly 
tricky to track down. 

We adore the work of 
Niels Gammelgaard, who 
was inspired by a visit 
to a supermarket trolley 
factory and used the same 
technology in his designs. 
Our favourites of his are 
the OTI chair, above, and 
the basket-style Jarpen 
chair. Both have crisp, 
linear designs and are a 
great way to add a H H 
bit of 80s cool. ■ 

Original OTI and Jarpen chairs, £375 each, As 
with all individual collectables it’s first-come first-served. Check back 
with Hopper and Space for information on new finds. 








I wonder how many of you have been body 
shamed? Been made to feel ashamed for not 
having the perfect body or having a six-pack? 
When I was 19, 1 weighed almost 20 stone and 
became used to a fair amount of verbal abuse! 

I lost the weight before I turned 21. But, lets be 
honest, I work with cake seven days a week, 

I’m not skinny by any stretch of the imagination 
and to some people that makes it acceptable to 
look down on me. It’s only been with time that I 
realised I couldn’t care less what other people 
thought and that I’m happy in my own skin 
so, unashamedly, this recipe is definitely not 
diet-friendly or low carb. It IS, however, bloody 
delicious. And, as I like to remind myself, a 
little bit of what you fancy does you good! 

Chocolate Bundt with Bourbon 

Chocolate Bundt 
250g unsalted butter 
200ml buttermilk 
80g cocoa powder 
400g light brown sugar 
4 large eggs 
350g plain flour 
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

Bourbon Butterscotch Glaze 
ISOg light brown sugar 
150ml double cream 
lOOg unsalted butter 
Large pinch of flaked sea salt 
100ml bourbon 
1 tsp vanilla bean paste 

To make the cake, preheat the oven 
to 180° (160° fan), grease a large 
bundt tin with oil and dust with cocoa 
powder, tapping out any excess. 

Set the tin onto a baking tray and 
put aside. To make the cake batter, 
place the butter into a saucepan 
and cook over medium heat until 
melted, remove from the heat and 
add the buttermilk and the cocoa 
powder, whisking until smooth. 

Pour this mixture into a large bowl 

and add the sugar and eggs - again, 
whisking until smooth. In a separate 
bowl, whisk together the flour and 
bicarbonate of soda. Add the dry 
ingredients to the wet and, briefly 
but thoroughly, whisk together to 
form a smooth cake batter. Pour 
this into the prepared pan and bake 
in the preheated oven for 40-45 
minutes - or until a skewer inserted 
into the cake comes out clean. Allow 
the cake to cool in the pan for five 
minutes before carefully inverting 
onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
To make the butterscotch, place the 
sugar, cream and butter into a large 
saucepan and - over medium/high 
heat - cook for about five minutes 
before adding the remaining 
ingredients, and cooking for another 
two-three minutes, or until you have 
a smooth caramel. Set aside until 
the cake has cooled and the 
butterscotch has thickened to a 
custard like consistency. To finish, 
pour the butterscotch all over the 
cake. Kept covered this will keep for 
about four days. ■ 

Author of The Boy Who Bakes, Say It With 
Cake and Patisserie Made Simple, 

134 GT 


Eat, drink and be healthy! 

How many times 

have you been told 
that breakfast is 
the most important 
meal of the day? But 
who has the time to 
make avocado and 
scrambled eggs 
every morning? 

Well, now there’s 
NOSH Super 
Brekkie to shake 
up your morning. 
Convenient, healthy 
and made from 

quinoa, yoghurt 
and real fruit - so 
it’s tasty, too. Now 
there’s really no 
excuse. On sale in 
Tesco and Holland 
& Barratt stores 
nationwide priced 
£2.50, noshdrinks. 
com ■ 

...and keeping 
with the healthy 
bodies theme, 
we’re also keen on 

new drink range 
Jools. So named 
as the drinks have 
delicate, kelp-based 
pearls - called 
jools - nestled at the 
bottom of the bottle, 
filled with essential 
vitamins and 
nutrients. Available 
in apple, cranberry 
and mango 
green tea. In 
stores nationwide 
priced £1.99 ■ 

Sunny Spelt Pizzas 

Serves 6-10 

650g strong white flour 
300g spelt flour 
10g fast-action, dried yeast 
75ml rapeseed oil 
500-550ml water 
Toppings and sauce of your 

Sonnetinnes sunnnner creeps up in 
mysterious ways and teases you 
with a taster of brighter days to 
come. Sometimes it also disappoints 
and feels as brutal as winter... Go 
figure. No matter which warm month, 
everyone wants to eat a bit lighter 
and take advantage of the bounty 
of fresh ingredients at your disposal 
once spring segues into summer. 

One of our favourite - and most 
frugal - recipes is spelt pizza. Great 
for a group, this dough works a treat 
- it freezes and defrosts effortlessly 
and can equally be enjoyed cold 
on an al fresco picnic or blazingly 
hot straight from the oven, enjoyed 
at the table. We love to make more 
elongated, rectangular-shaped 
pizzas rather than one big round, 
but it’s completely up to you how 
you shape. 

Weigh out everything but the wet 
ingredients in a large mixing bowl, 
making sure to keep the yeast and 
salt at opposite ends. Add the oil 
and then begin to add the water, 
swirling your hand in the mixture to 
incorporate everything. Keep adding 
water until you’ve got sticky but 
workable dough. Tip out onto the 
work surface and begin to knead. 

Stretch and elongate the dough to 
strengthen the gluten. Work for a 
good 10-15 minutes until the dough 
is smooth and elastic, but you can 
use a stand mixer if you have one 
and use the time to get some spritz 
cocktails on the go! Prove for about 
30 minutes. 

Next, divide into eight. At this point 
you can put the dough into sandwich 
bags and freeze or pop into the 
fridge, and you can do this two to 
three days before the occasion. 
Flavour in dough develops with time. 

When ready to bake, preheat the 
oven to as hot as possible with a 
large, flat, heavy tray or stone. Take 
out the portions of dough you need 
and dust the work surface with a 
mix of flour and polenta. Stretch, or 
roll, your dough slowly and carefully 
as you ease it into shape. It will feel 
light, thin and stretched but will hold 
its shape if teased out correctly. 

When to size, place the dough into 
the flour and polenta and begin to add 
your sauce and toppings. The best 
thing about pizzas is they can satisfy 
the most adventurous and the most 
cautious eater in the same sitting, so 
get people involved and allow them to 
top with whatever they like. 

Quickly take out the sheet, put the 
pizza on and bake for 12-18 minutes, 
until crisp and dry on the edges, with 
the topping melted and crisp in the 
middle. Serve hot. We like to drizzle 
some chilli-infused honey and 
freshly ground black pepper. ■ 

Gastro Gays are Patrick Hanlon and 
Russell Alford. For more visit, ©gastrogays 



Eat it ur* Meet Flint, the Wo 

I cuddly toy designed to take the weight 

of the worid off your kids’ shouiders. 

Simply get your ioved ones to write 

or draw their proMems, and then just 

them in his mouth so he can eat 

em up. If Hint - a swashbucklin 

Ulll . . 

I > 



then you can have his stripy-haired 

uivaient Saggo instead. ActuaihL this might be 

a good gift for dads, too... 

I Available from £19.95, 


With more same-sex couples walking 
down the aisle, or converting their 
civil partnerships, one of the main 
stumbling blocks is children. Do we, 
or do we not, invite them? It’s up to 
you and your partner. Kristen Harding, 
childcare expert at tiniescreches. 
com, shares her top tips for having 
kids attend your special day. 

Muention span 

Children have short 
attention spans and 
need to be kept 
busy. Having to sit 
through two hours of 
speeches is pushing 
your luck. We suggest 
you include them in 
specific parts of the 
day, providing them 
with break time and 


K^rnyiWe know 
health and safety 
can go too far, but 
in the interest of 
limiting disaster and 
maintaining your 
beautiful venue, think 
about the heights of 
your decorations if 
there are toddlers 
about. Whether it’s 
flower arrangements 
to trip over or wisps 
of fabric to pull down, 
keep things out of 

[ 03 ], 

al time 

When it comes to 
food - go simple. 
Some children will eat 
a posh salmon steak 
and sauteed potatoes 
in an agave and pesto 
sauce; but most will 
turn up their noses in 
disgust. Have simple 
choices for children 
and don’t expect 
them to eat the same 

thing as the adults. 
Having said that, 
avoid sauces. Nothing 
ruins a fancy dress 
faster than brightly 
coloured condiments. 
Plus, think about your 
seating arrangements 
- while it can be nice 
to have all the children 
together, it’s also likely 
they’ll be too loud and 
more mischievous 
together. Don’t forget 
to have a supervisor 
for the children during 
mealtimes. Be this 
Uncle Jo or some hired 


[ 04 ] 

There’ll always be a 
time during the day 
when children need 
entertaining. You 
might decide to do this 
yourself, or consult help 
to handle it for you. It’s 
a really good tip to have 
a space the children 
can go to - perhaps 
a separate room or 
a special part of the 
marquee. Having a 
variety of activities for 
different age groups is 
important, as is making 
sure the children are 
safely supervised. Why 
not try fancy dress, or 
supply some children’s 
books and magazine? 
Or for the really 
adventurous - a good 
ol’ fashioned scavenger 

136 GT 

« We met each other 

in 2008 and after 
seven years together, 
and opening up our own business 
Vintage Street Cornwall, we 
decided we were ready to apply 
for adoption. 

We had so many fears and 
worries about adoption because of 
the haunting stories and our own 
bad experiences in our childhood. 
The last thing we wanted was for 
this to affect our chances. But, 
after enquiring, they set our minds 
at ease and arranged a home visit. 

The first meeting was to give 
an idea of who we were and our 
reasons for wanting to adopt. We 
were asked questions about our 
backgrounds from birth until 
now and, after talking about 
our childhoods, she said that 
we haven’t said anything that 
would stop us entering adoption 
and that everyone had a past. 

We were so relieved. This first 
meeting took around three 
hours, the time flew by. 

We later got a call to say we’d 
successfully been entered onto 
stage one of the adoption process 
and we’d been placed on an 
induction training day for the 
following week. The feeling of 
calling our families to tell them 

we’d been entered into stage one 
of adoption was just amazing. 

The following week we attended 
the adoption training day and the 
experience was overwhelming. We 
learned a whole range of subjects, 
met other potential adopters and 
even watched a DVD of children 
awaiting adoption which made the 
whole experience very real to us. 

After gathering our references 
and medicals, we’re now waiting 
to see if we’ve been successful in 
entering stage two of the process - 
the final stage. Stage one has taken 
us two months and the final stage is 
said to take a further four months. 
Then, it’s just the matching. 

Our advice for anyone wanting 
to adopt or foster is to just pick up 
the phone and make the first call. 
Social workers are fantastic and the 
support is even better. They really 
don’t care if you’re LGBT. All they 
care about is if you can provide 
a loving home for a child. Even if 
you’re unemployed, low wage or 
single, you can still adopt. 

It’s also important for us to point 
out that there’s absolutely loads 
of online support and groups for 
LGBTs wanting to adopt, so use 
them and research 
as much as you can 
beforehand. ■ 

Is your pup feeling a little under the weather? 
Lily’s Kitchen has the answer. Their new recovery 
recipe wiii have your dog back to its normai happy 
seif in no time. Gentie on the stomach and made 
with naturai ingredients, even the sickest puppy 
wiii be abie to handie this food and quickiy get 
back to their totaiiy adorabie/mischievous seif. 
Deiete as appropriate, of course. ■ 

Priced £2.49, 

Nothing ssms romance iike chocalate f and Choc 
on Choc’s new wedding coiiectiovwmy just be 
the perfect “I do.” From champagne ice cream 
truffie cones to heart ioiiies, these bespoke 
choccies and handmade treats are a feast for 
aii romantic occasions. Ceiebrating your big day 
never tasted so good. ■ 

Prices range from £3 to £100, find your favourite at 



138 GT 


Newquay has a 
bit of a reputation 
as a hen and 
stag haven - and 
it’s tnie that 
the town itseif 
isn’t exactiy a 
Cornish gem. But 
enough chiMhood 
memories of the 
wiid coast and 
endiess sandy 
beaches have 
ieft their maik. 

So when the 
prosp^ of storm 
watching at the 
gioriously gothic 
Headiand Hotei 
reared its head, it 
seemed too good 
an offer for us to 
pass up. And the 
perfect chance to 
visit a beautHui 
when the parties 
and piss-ups have 
gone home for 

Perched, as the name suggests, 

on the headland at the edge of 
Newquay Town, the Headland 
stands in judgment over Fistral 
Beach and in a great position 
to witness the seasons change 
in dramatic Technicolor as the 
Atlantic hurls animated diva 
strops at the rock-strewn beaches. 
Offering contemporary and 
traditional rooms - and a clutch of 
beautiful luxury cottages for those 
wanting a little more freedom - 
the Headland is a grand old lady, 
but one who’s just about got to 
grips with modern life. And if 
you’re worried that it might not 
be ‘gay enough’, the Headland 
was also the backdrop to the 

iconic film version of Roald Dahl’s 
perennial favourite The Witches 

- so feel free to rip off your wig 
and scream, “1 smell children!” 
at any point. And for added, well, 
something, there’s even a LEGO 
replica of the hotel that a former 
guest spent far too long creating. 
Something for everyone! 

Dinner in the main restaurant 
is a formal affair - although The 
Terrace offers a more relaxed 
option with gastropub staples 

- but impressively so. Maitre d’ 
Christoph - who smelled great, 
by the way - filleted a brilliant 
Dover sole at the table - a nice 
bit of old fashioned theatre - 
but modern fine dining dishes 
like the crab pasta and a tuna 
carpaccio with melon held their 
own, too. The chefs make the 
most of the produce Cornwall 
offers and the food sings as a 

A definite nod to the present 
comes in the form of the multi- 
million pound spa that can be 
found, complete with its own 
sheltered terrace, in a bright, 
peaceful lower ground floor. 
Award-winning and created with 
a pleasing eye for detail, the spa 
offers everything you’d expect - 
including brilliantly bracing deep 
tissue massages - to knock away 
the cobwebs the Atlantic winds 
can’t reach. 

As fate would have it, the 
weather during our visit was 
unseasonably warm and sunny 
so there wasn’t much storm 
watching to be had. That didn’t 
mean drama was in short supply, 
though, as the environment can’t 
help but be breathtaking. 

A coastal view meant we 
woke to crashing waves 
every morning and a possibly 
misjudged eagerness meant we 
ended up in them. Dan, a lovely 
surfer from Cadiz who relocated 
to Newquay with nary a word of 
English in him, can be found at 
the Fistral Beach Surf School, 

less than five minutes from the 
Headland. Now fluent, he’s the 
best teacher an unfit lunk from 
London could’ve hoped for. 
Against the odds, and with us 
being totally novice, Dan had 
us nearly surfing after just two 
hours, and totally invigorated 
for the rest of the trip as a result. 
Practically unable to move the 
day after, but hey, we can’t 
recommend enough. 

Newquay’s reputation as a 
party town doesn’t extend 
to any gay bars and it isn’t 
exactly picture box Cornwall, 
either. There are plenty of 
pubs however, ranging from 
mammoth family-orientated 
places like The Fort, which also 
prides itself on a great menu 
of locally sourced goodies, to 
the more ‘shooters and scary 
cocktails’ end of the spectrum. 
The working harbour offers 
one or two hidden gems, too, 
like The Boathouse, presided 
over by the fabulous Nettie. A 
vision in fuchsia who’ll up-sell 
the shit out of you given half a 
chance, she and her brilliant fish 
restaurant should be a Newquay 
institution if they aren’t already. 
With reggae playing out into 
the harbour. The Boathouse is a 
must-visit and it’s roasted crab 
claws a messy must-have. 

We visited from Friday to 
Sunday. Newquay might seem 
like a long haul for a short trip, 
but with connections from 
Gatwick with Flybe, you can be 
there in little over an hour for the 
same price as a train ticket. And 
who doesn’t love some pursed- 
lipped grandeur mixed with 
genuinely warm and friendly 
service? Not to mention some of 
the most spectacular scenery 
the United Kingdom has to offer. 
Storm or no storm. ■ 

GT travelled with Flybe, 
newquay. GT stayed at The Headland 
GT surfed with Fistral Beach Surf School, 


Islas Wt# 



GranCanaria Canarias^«C LOPESAN SAN ROQUE 



Shopping Center 

’wii v-Ai I — iiiw, i i^ii iwn wi i 


8- 17 May 

Equality in Colour 








To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 
Deadline for next issue 21 April 



Come and enjoy a wonderful holiday in The Algarve, Portugal. Try 
somewhere new and discover the beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars 
and friendly people that this region has to offer. 

Our villa. Quinta Fenix, is located in a small hamlet surrounded by 
forest and farmland between Almancil and Vale do Lobo, and is just a 
5 minute drive to all local beaches. Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago 
resorts are a few minutes drive away and offer wonderful and varied 
bars, restaurants, nightclubs, beaches, shopping, golf, tennis and 
horse riding. 

At Quinta Fenix, you can be sure of a relaxing break. Our new large 
salt water pool basks in sunshine from early morning to early evening. 
With only 2 guest rooms, a superking ensuite and a twin with private 
adjoining shower room, you can be sure of your choice of sun lounger, 
giant beanbag or place in the shade without getting up at 7am to ‘bag’ 
your spot! Snacks are available during the day and BBQ nights can 
be arranged. There are no TV’s in the rooms, we hope would you prefer 
the sound of the birds singing, the sheep baaaa’ing and the breeze in 
the trees! 

Faro International Airport is a 20 minute drive away. Car hire is highly 
recommended as we are approximately 2km to the nearest public 
transport although taxis can be arranged. 

The villa is strictly adult only and non-smoking throughout the property 
and the grounds. We are open from Easter until early Qctober and 
our prices are the same throughout the season. During July and 
August, a minimum 3 nights stay is required and a minimum 2 nights 
stay is required for all other months. We are not an exclusive GLBT 
accommodation, we welcome everyone! 

Janine, Alison and their two small dogs, Molly and Daisy, look forward 
to welcoming you to our home. 

For more information or to book your stay, please contact us on the 

Email us at: 
Telephone: 00351 91 66 40 961 


To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 

Amsterdam / Netherlands Greece 




PC’s in Every Room! 

In the center of gay Amsterdam 
New renovated rooms 
Private keys 
Color TV/ Private Safe 
Fridge/ phone in room 
Breakfast till 1 p.m incl. 

Kerkstraat 42 • tel +31 20 624 80 74 • 



area school of tine arts S4S 00 n^yhanoS'greece 
lei: + 3022890 23952, 24210, 24684 tax: + 3022890 23747 
winter tel.; +30210 9237410 moh.; 6945 874435 
email: into@elvstumhatel.cDm www.efysiumhotel.cDm 


Sitges On The Beach Holiday & 

Special Function Villa and Apartments... 

Affordable & Flexible Luxury Beachfront 
Apartments. Right on the 'Famous Balmins Beach’ 
Sitges near Barcelona. 

HERE! — 

Reach gay men 
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Different box 
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with multiple 

We've been 
matching our 
readers with their 
ideal holiday 
for over 23 years. 

Call Jo Vasconcelos 

020 7424 7451 




SOHO 5-7 Brewer St, W1 F ORF, 
020 7734 4031 

BRIGHTON 1 12 St James St, BN2 
ITH, 01273 683 680 


142 GT 


South Africa 

The Glen now boasts a beautiful Penthouse. Stay in the 
luxurious top floor Penthouse overlooking the city towards 
the sea and of course our two magnificent swimming pools, 
and outdoor Jacuzzi. 

With direct lift access to the apartment, it comes complete 
with your very own lounge/dining room, kitchen, study area 
and 360 degree balcony. 

There’s no excuse not to pamper yourself and stay in this 
one off room with a view! 

T. +27 (0)21 439 0086 E. INFO@GLENHOTEL.CO.ZA 


★ ★★★ 

UhE one 8 



tel: +27 21 434 6100 

Green Point Cape Town South Africa 

“Come relax and enjoy the great 
hospitality and atmosphere of this modern 
and intimate hotel. 

fully licensed bar heated swimming 
pooi, jacuzzi, air conditioned^ 

& close to everywhere you want to be." 



Burghope manor 

Winsley, Bradford-on-Avon, near Bath, Wiltshire, BA15 2LA 

Great base to explore Both, Wells, Longleot, Stonehenge, 
Notional Trust sites... 

Tasteful en-suite rooms, friendly atmosphere, home-cooked meals 

Contact Alan or Peter (ex of LEIGH HOUSE) 
tel:+44-(0) 1 225 - 72021 6 email: 

WWW. lie wbii ry hotei . n el 



Gay- Friendly 

Best in Bonrnemoulh 

Free Car 

Free Wi-Fi 

Phone Dlrecl 
for rOVAi.TY 

Reserva lions: 01 202 297000 
or i nfo®newhury hotei. nel 
83 St Michaels Road 
8H2 SDR 

Bournemouth Dorset 



As seen on TV 

Communify Retreat Style Hotel 
luxury Rooms 

Numerous Chill Out Rooms 

One Table for oil meats 
- Together 

Free WiFr / Parking 

go ymBn@ho mi Iton h a 1 1. i nl o 
WWW. h a mi Itonh a 1 1 . i n fo 



Three en suite rooms. Naturist sun terrace. Secure parking. 

In historic town, within walking distance of many good restaurants. 

Contact Gary or Phil on 07795 461247 
WWW. wa 1 1 edga rdendor sat . com 


To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 




A seafront hotel a bar, a terrace & a club under one roof 

and the whole of gay Brighton on your doorstep! 

I Scan 

QR code 

5 for deals 

WWW . legendsbrighton . com 
31-34 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 ITR 
Tel: 01273 624462 Fax: 01273 624470 

. _ , CEIItflCATE Of 



Edinburgh's only 
guesthouse for gay men 
^5 Alv^ Place, Edinburgh 
0845 257 1475 



Stylish modern liv|hji| 
for the gay male tray^lji 

Off-street Parking 
Daily & w eekly 

!n-room*rV, DVD and 
pi u s f r j d g e . mjcro v/aVi: and 
te a/i^??ee*tifakin qj ^liti^ 

R iglSt'i 

of the aavTi II 

B Broughton Market, Edinburgh 

0131 556 5094 


Inver lodge hotel 

Lochinver. Sutherland 
IV27 4LU 

Tel. (C1671) 044496 
fax, (01571)844395 
Web site : 
E-mail : stay ©invedodge .com 

The hotel combines modem 
facilities and ccmfdrls with thd 
Iraditicnal ambienrp^ of $ highitand 
lodge. Our foreground Is Lo^inver bay A 
the western sea. 

Our backdrop the great pe^a of 
^Ihertand: Canisp A Suilven. 
Amidst the dramabc coastline can be 
found dtear white sandy beachea. Li- 
censed for 

civil partiefShip derefnaoiaa. 

Please menlion this advert 
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HERE! ► 

Reach gay men internationally with a 
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Different box sizes available 

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144 GT 


North Oxfordshire 


Gay Run Clothes Optional Guest House 

Accommodation and Day Visits 
Massage • Sauna • Hot Tub • Secluded Gardens 

Ideal location for visiting Oxford, 
Cotswolds & Shakespeare Country 



Gaij owned - gay friendly neair gay jxifas, ekihe gj eauna ■ 

Corfipfete^ r^^ljfehBcf * Eivsuite rioortis nfiosf uuifh sea viitua 
Free car parking • Fuflg Icemsd ’ resicfenite/non recidenfs or room ody 

545 Bsbfcacombe Road, Torauau TQl ITIQ 
Phooe/Fa?c 01603 203407 Mobfe 07921 !42 220 erflail: erTqtJi>ies@TQdhtjdaoficcJtik 


Daddyhole Sauna ^ 


Steam ^ Free entry 
„ for residents 

Rest Rooms 

DVD Lounge 

Mini Gym 

TV Lounge 

Smoking Area 

Outdoor Swimming Pool 

The largest in house facilities in UK 

New Years Ew 
Lavish buffet 
(Disco in ^oms <Sar till4am 
Ucheted event £1 0 in advance 
£15 on the night _ 


Hotel & Bar 

Key West is a private members club 
strictly for Gay Men aged 18 or over 












Book Online For Great Discounts 


Crowded House 

Bed a Breakfast 

Gay run 

Quality Home Stay 

Standard Rooms. 

Hot Tub 6t Sauna 
free to residents. 

Secluded garden. 
Evening meal 

www..crai wded<hou 

Contact Nfck or Graham 

01 962-885370 

f \ 


To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 


To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 
Deadline for next issue 21 April 




Sex discrimination at work has been illegal since 1975, race discrimination since 1976 and 
until 2003 for sexual orientation discrimination to receive equal protection by law. 

The good news is that today’s protection under the Equality Act 201 0 is wide-reaching. 

Ten things you should know about gay rights at work: 

1 . You have rights from day 1 of your employment. In fact, your rights exist even before that - 
during the job application and interview process. 

2. You can still be employed and bring a claim for sexual orientation discrimination at work. 

3. Most people are protected, including employees, soldiers, partners, police officers and some self- 
employed contractors. 

4. It is unlawful to be bullied or harassed because you are gay. 

5. Unlawful treatment can also include not being promoted because you are gay or in a civil partnership 
or being refused dependant’s leave for your civil partner or husband. 

6. The protection applies if the treatment is because you have a gay friend or family member. It 
also applies where people are perceived to be gay and are treated less favourably on that basis. 

7. Unlawful treatment can be very subtle. Ignoring someone at work can potentially be a form of 

8. Surprisingly, discrimination is sometimes legally justified, for instance where there 

is an occupational requirement for employees to be of a particular sexual orientation. 

9. ‘Positive action’ is lawful in certain circumstances - this is where individuals who are 
underrepresented in the workplace are given more favourable treatment e.g. promotion. 

10. Compensation for successful discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal is unlimited. It 
includes financial loss and injury to feelings. 

disability discrimination since 1995. It took 

Disaimination at Work Lawyers 

Burroughs Day 

Who are we and how can we help? 

We are employment law experts. Our 
employment team specialises in discrimination 
at work. 

We provide confidential, practical advice. 
Employment law is a complex area of law that 
we understand inside out. 

If you have experienced or are experiencing 
discrimination in the workplace, it is important 
that you take advice from an expert. Our track 
record speaks for itself: we have successfully 
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We offer free first advice on all employment 
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Contact us for free first advice: 

Tel: 0117 929 0333 
Twitter: @QS_BurroughsDay 

Follow us: 

f DiscriminatioriAIWorfc 
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146 CT 


Accounting & Legal 

Personals Removals 



Leading thd\ way in LGBT 
immigration for 20 years 

Practical problem solving for 
coupleSy parent^^ cjfii/drexT, 
individuals^ businesses and 

CCAn excellent niche practice 
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and effective^^ 

-Chambers Guide 2015 

Fixed fees available for your peace of mind 

r 020 7401 6887 

Top rated practice in the 2015 editions of both the Chambers Guide 
to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500. Our gay solicitors have 
played a key role in guaranteeing the immigration rights of lesbians 
and gay men. 


London's longest established gay 
firm specialising in: 

- Family - 

Civil Partnership, Divorce, 
Relationship breakdown. 
Children, Property, Prenuptial and 
cohabitation agreements. 

- Conveyancing - 

Purchase and sale of residential 
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extensions and Deeds of Trust. 

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Wills, administration of 
estates, lasting powers of 
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- Crime - 

Expert in sexual offence and 
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To discuss your needs 
without obligation 
Telephone: 020 7433 1562 
Fax: 020 7433 1625 

38 Heath St, Hampstead, 
London, NWS 6TE 
Nearest Tube: Hampstead 

Bloom & 

Bespoke Introductions 
For Gay Professionals 

Our client is an intelligent, well 
educated, successful 32-year old 
gay man seeking a boyish, youthful, 
smooth and slender man of a similar 
age or younger. Our client is a 
Londoner, a professional with a good 
career, has a great personality and very 
dry sense of humour. He has dark hair 
and blue eyes, has a love for travel 
(including spells living abroad) and he 
speaks several languages. 

He is looking to find a beautiful 
young man to share his many 
interests and hopefully his life. 

Please call Bloom and Cadogan: 

020 3008 6388 or email 



We have been moving... 
Everything, Everywhere... 

For lesbians and gay men 
for 25 years. 


020 7254 5580 



Call Jo Vasconcelos on: 020 7424 7451 



Just call 0906 200 8359 
& enter the advert 
Box number, £1.02/min 

By mobile (to ads with S symbols) 
Text GT followed by a space Box 
number followed by a space your 
message & send to 84010, £1 .50/text 

eg: GT 227045 Hi, liked your ad, 
want to talk? 

The advertiser recieves your reply 
direct to their mobile. Your mobile 
number remains confidential. Replying 
to an ad will cost £1 .50/text. To cancel 
this service text STOP to 8401 0 


Call FREE 0808 100 4849 
To collect your msgs anytime 
call 0906 753 4435, 77p/min 

By mobile Text GTDATE followed by a space | 
your advert & send to 85010, 50p/text 

eg: GTDate Slim M, 28, into pubs, 
football & sport. Seeks guy for fun 
relationship. Cardiff. 

You will receive a text with instructions and 
a request to record a voice greeting, this 
is essential for your ad to appear in print. 
Placing ad costs 50p/text. You’ll receive 
alerts to voicemail msgs, 50p/text received. 
To cancel this service text STOP to 85010 


Tall, slim M, 68. Seeks pleasant guy 
for good times. Box 433800 or text 

5 GT 433800 

M 64, Enjoys history & visiting places 
of interest. Seeks LTR with fellow M 
travel enthusiast. Kent Box 633825 
Slim M, 54, enjoys music, days out 

6 walking. Seeks caring, loving M, 
25-60, for fun & romance. N Yorks. 
Box 810733 or text S GT 810733 

M, 48, 5’10”, stocky build, n/s, likes 
pubs, cuddles & nights in. Seeks 
M, under 60, for r/ship. Lancs. Box 
964784 or text S GT 964784 

Sincere M, 49, WLTM gay or bi, 
overweight, smooth M, with great 
personality. Hants. Box 478951 or 
text H GT 478951 
M, 48, very genuine, loves to cross- 
dress, WLTM mature couple with bi 
M or CD & F to give encouragement. 
S. Ldn. Box 765770 or text 
S GT 765770 

Gay M, 51, likes walks, swimming, 
cycling & scuba-diving. Seeks older 
gay gent for fun times. N. Devon. 

Box 478498 or text S GT 478498 


M, 49, WLTM very mature guy, 

70-I-. Cross-dressers very welcome. 
Liverpool. Box 457537 


M, 21 , looking for muscular M, 30s, 
for fun & r/ship. Norfolk. Box 334612 


M, 47, seeks dominant M for good 
r/ship. L’pool. Box 736700 
M, 52, seeks M, 18-25, for adult fun. 
Aldershot. Box 395747 or text 
S GT 395747 
M, 42, divorced, seeks M for good 
times & maybe more. Wrexham. 

Box 657921 

M, 50, seeks genuine guy, 40-50, for 
f/ship, hopefully more Chester. 

Box 886824 
M, 52, seeks older gent, 65-75, for 
f/ship & r/ship. Gwynedd. 

Box 152320 


M, 52, 5’10”, seeks genuine, nice 

M, 47-55, for laughs & lots more. 

Chester. Box 641 758 


M, 70, 6’, medium build, seeks M, 

who can accom, for fun times & 

more. Powys. Box 387737 or text 

H GT 387737 


M, 72, 5’8”, medium build, n/s, seeks 

similar M for fun & f/ship. Co. Antrim. 

Box 959394 or text ^ GT 959394 


M, 76, slightly disabled, seeks M 

for fun times. York. Box 473975 


M, 67, likes playing bowls & golf. 
Seeks M, similar age, for walks, 
chats & lasting r/ship. Co. Antrim. 

Box 166978 


M, 69, likes exciting, interesting, all 

male personal chat. Seeks similar M, 

1 8-I-. Essex. Box 585049 


M, 41 , 6’, seeks M for fun times & 

more. Co. Down. Box 390744 


M, 60s, seeks dominant, masculine 

M for good times. Ldn. Box 302896 


CD, 75, likes dressing, fun & gentle 

mutual pleasures. WLTM similar CD. 

Central Scotland. Box 841628 


M, 44, loves silky lingerie & dressing 

up, seeks M or F for adult fun. Essex. 

Box 235982 


M, 58, likes going out & nights in. 
WLTM similar-aged M with similar 
interests. Cheshire. Box 161867 or 
text S GT 161867 


Dating FAQs & Advice Line 

0906 200 1036 

Calls cost £1 .02/min plus network extras. 

Compiaints & Service Provider 

0330 333 6946 


To advertise in this section contact Jo Vasconcelos Tel 020 7424 7451 E-mail 

Health Massage 

Phonelines Shopping 


feofured True Tantro. 

move sexual energVn celebrate 
your body. 

open your chakros - gay tontra 
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absolute fcFnfra, co. ul? 

Therapeutic/Sensual Male 
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phone 020 74191706 
mobfte 07772007074 
a bsolufem ofem, 


Wonderfully relaxing Massage 
from friendly ITEC qualified therapist 

Hotel visits. 


07763 764 869 

Household services 


We aim to please the Gay Community 

• Patios 

• Gardens 
•Flat roofs 
•New Roofs 

• Driveways 

• Sash Windows 

• Brick Restoration 
•UPVC Windows & Doors 
•All types of Roof repairs 
•Painting & Decorating Inf Exf 

• Loft Conversions & Extensions 

• Tiling 

• Pointing 

* Plastering 

• Brickwork 

• Kitchens 

* Damp Proofing 

* Refurbishment 
Basement Conversions 

• HM, Storm, Fire & Flood Damage • Vicform Wing Footpaths 


Free Phone 0800 474 8357 
Direct Line 07440 698 556 

• AH iru$ Corned • We con $»e you Money Ot sss tTD Lovondn Ml London $W11 SIS 



for men - £30 


07503 446534 

OEl 522 3H13 

18+ only Call costs: 0871 - lOp per minute. 

Calls from other networks may vary. SP 

All Points North. LSI 6ER Help 0330 3330 320 




Memorial Site for the Vintage 
Gay Porn Star. Built & maintained 
by his twin daughters. 

Shop discreetly for 
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Q □ 

SOHO 5-7 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1 F ORF, 020 7734 4031 
BRIGHTON 1 1 2-1 1 3 St James's Street, Brighton, BN2 1 TH, 01 273 683 680 

148 GT 



Years & Years 
Meet the gay 
new face of pop 

Charlie Cox is ^ 
Marvel*s hero J 

asse mble! Again! 


• • Available on 


Why read GT Diyital 


Bad boys ink 
Why do we love 
the tattoo look? I 

Hair today... 
How do you cope 
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SOHO 5-7 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1 F ORF, 020 7734 4031 
BRIGHTON 1 12-1 13 St James's Street, Brighton, BN2 ITH, 01273 683 680 


Hot 'n homy hookups. 

Nottingham Playhouse and Curve Leicester 
with Tom O'Connell for QNQ Ltd 

'^f'stonewall GT 

official partners 


Gay Times 

The Times 

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Kent Online